Wednesday, August 3, 2011
HOUSE OF BLACK WINGS
HOUSE OF BLACK WINGS (2010)
Directed by David Schmidt
Leah Myette - Kate Stone / Nicky Tarot
Katherine Herrera - Robyn Huck
Michael Klug - Steve
After a tragic act of violence cuts short her music career, Kate Stone is returning to a city full of ex-fans and ex-friends. Taking shelter with her last friend, a struggling artist named Robyn Huck, the two women work to restore the aging courtyard apartment building Robyn has inherited.
I'll admit I've never truly been a big fan of independent films. I think the main reason for this is that most of the time they look just like a a home video recording with bad special effects and even worse sound. Yes, I know a lot of directors got their start from doing independent features or shorts and they do all they can to make the production as professional as possible. Then on the other side, you have young filmmakers who are making truly terrible home made horror movies just to see females naked, which is where a lot of the stigma of indie films come from the way I see it.Yes, some directors truly want to tell a story that they think is great, but that could also be their downfall, as they try to go with a first draft script they wrote and don't go and tighten it up, which all scripts need. Okay, I'm pretty sure I bored you enough with my views on indie films, so here's the review finally.
The two main actresses in the movie, Leah Myette as Kate Stone and Katherine Herrera as Robyn Huck, I would have to say did a much better job as the movie went on which I was quite happy about. Myette when the movie began didn't seem to know what to do or how to act in certain scenes, yet as the film progressed it seemed as if she grow into her role. Even though the more intimate scenes it seems she still had trouble with, but she seemed to have a decent grasp on what she was doing when the more horrific scenes happened. As for Herrera, I would have to say that she was the better of the two leads in the movie, even though Myette has more acting experience, though when she has her argument with Myette's character, I think she was supposed to be in a semi trance, but what gets put on screen is what looks like she's reading cue cards. While these are small gripes, my biggest disappointment was with Michael Klug. I have to say opening your eyes as wide as they can get doesn't make you seem crazy. Also, please Mr. Klug, You were stabbed in the heart, stop fucking shaking!
The look of the film is the one major drawback to me as it has that bright, unfiltered lens look of a home movie. Yes, I know that this is a independent movie, yet it's obvious that director David Schmidt has a video editing suite because the cuts in the film are clean and well put together, bridging each scene to the next. While this does help the movie, to me what would have helped out even more was if Schmidt had run the finished edited film through a grain filter or at least cut back on some of the color that is visible as it's almost too bright, as it's like watching a Disney movie. The main reason I'm mentioning this is that the color and look so is nowhere near his effort on The Lovecraft Syndrome, which looks very professional compared to House Of Black Wings. Also if the static shots of the building were used less it could have helped speed the movie up and make the story seem tighter. Thankfully the atmosphere and background noise helped lend a aire of tension through the first part of the movie that helps combat this.
I know it might seem as if I didn't like the movie, yet in fact I liked it a lot. The story was very strong and interesting. Even though the more weird stuff didn't really start happening until about half way through, it was the relationship between the two main characters as they try to help each other out that kept me interested enough to keep watching. Like all truly good Lovecraftian movies, it's is the build up of the characters and their pathos that help the story along. As a plus, once the more supernatural aspects start appearing it just keeps building and the movie starts to move very quickly. What surprised me even more is what Schmidt pulled off in this area, specially the creatures when they are shown, though sometimes too brief, used to great affect. If Schmidt keeps on the way he is, I'll keep trying to watch what he puts out, as he is a strong storyteller and has great potential in my opinion.
Though it's not a death, I did like the fingerless hand nightmare scene. It was my first real surprise of the movie.
She's in a girl band. The Angry Cunts.
David Schmidt's previous films include the well-received horror shorts Grave Invitations and The Lovecraft Syndrome.
You can watch The Lovecraft Syndrome for free online. Just follow the link:
The Lovecraft Syndrome