NOVEMBER 5, 2007
Yesterday I walked into Blockbuster and scanned the shelves for a horror movie to watch, not really knowing what I was in the mood for. Slasher? Monster? Pretend someone is back from the grave in order to scam another person out of an inheritance (I really need to name this genre)? Then I spotted Kaw, which I had never even heard of previously. But seeing a giant bird on the box next to a “scary” font, I knew immediately that A. it was horror, and B. it would be a fun review to write. Come on, it’s fucking called KAW for Christ’s sake. It seemed like the film existed solely for me to make fun of it on HMAD.
So when I sat down to watch it today, and in a bad mood no less, I was saddened to discover that the film really isn’t all that bad. Obviously it’s no masterpiece, but I was entertained, the production value was high, it looked professionally made by people who weren’t just cashing a check, and the script genuinely surprised me in terms of who would live or die.
The only bad thing I can really say about the movie is that the raven effects were wildly uneven. Good CG, bad CG, good editing with the real birds, bad editing with real birds... it ran the gamut. Obviously some CG is to be expected, so that’s not a real problem. But the inconsistency of the effects was pretty distracting.
Otherwise though, the film was pretty good. Whoever cast it should be commended, as not only are the actors good, but they seem natural in their roles. I hate a horror movie that casts the most beautiful women in the world as like, coffee shop owners or whatever. Come on now. But here, everyone is totally believable in their blue collar settings.
Also, there’s a pretty big cast (a dozen or so main characters), and in addition to some decent attempts at character development, it’s kind of hard to tell who will live or die. If anything, the movie sort of goes out of its way to kill off the nicer people in the movie, but not in a mean-spirited way (other than at some of the CG birds, I didn’t laugh once watching this movie, intentionally or not). Kind of like Tremors, they don’t go the usual horror movie route and kill all but two people, so it makes the attack scenes a bit more suspenseful when you know they aren’t out to simply whittle the remaining cast down to nothing in order to save on SAG fees.
Hell, they even give a decent enough explanation for why the birds went nuts. Whether it makes any scientific sense I have no idea, but I certainly don’t care either (drop a nuke into a hole a mere 800 into something the size of Texas and it will split in two and miss the Earth? Sounds good to me!). And it’s given about one minute of screen time, so even if you totally hate the ‘motive’, it’s not like it makes up the whole movie.
Now, again, this is no masterpiece. But for a direct to video movie (which I suspect may actually have been made for TV – the gore is incredibly light and there is no profanity at all) with almost no known actors or creators (and obvious script rewrites – the ‘story by’ credit is given to someone other than the names on the ‘screenplay by’ credit) I was fairly surprised at its relative professionalism and decency. I expected the worst, and I got OK. That’s more than I can say for like 75% of these “blind rents”.
So kudos, cast and crew of Kaw, for not making me angry!
What say you?