In 1863 after a bloody bank robbery, a group of thieves decide to wait out a furious storm in a decrepit empty plantation homestead before fleeing to Mexico at dawn. Tensions caused by the stolen sacks of gold coins and sudden disappearances by those in the party led to a night of horror as the house's demonic mysteries are reawakened.
Being a horror fan is to be different and listening to reactions of those outside the community is sometimes odd. Last time I felt this outsider feeling was a conversation over Adam Green's Hatchet with a girl at my place of work. Apparently the new retro slasher homage was "the scariest movie" she'd ever seen and she "couldn't sleep at all that night." Even though the fandom love to be scared; I can't say I've ever been so affected by a single horror flick to lose an entire night's rest. Hell, I rarely even jump or have the urge to flick on a light with most of the horror I consume.
Alex Tuner's Dead Birds is the seldom exception being a rare modern example of "take your time" in the genre. What's even more surprising the film sits in the low budget realm of the spectrum and its quiet proceedings never feel forcefully made modest because of the equally modest funds. In the same way Session 9 so delightfully and tidily contains its story; this yarn is like a little curious tale spun by tourist guides or only whispered by those living in the area present day.
Everything isn't pitch perfect; the allegory made by the "Dead Birds" title isn't that successful since we only see one dead bird to signify the "dead zone" surrounding the area as the group first encounters the house's ominous presence. The dark history of the homestead will also seem muddled upon first glance (a major "key" is only spoken once), but repeat viewings fill in these bumps. Aside from these quibbles; the film is bolstered by a great rough looking cast, several frights that would give the elderly heart attacks, and glum cinematography that creates a welcoming old dark house atmosphere. Certainly a tiny diamond in the rough and worth not just renting but owning to experience again-and-again at your whim.