The Thing That Ate the Birds is set on the North Yorkshire Moors and tells the story of Abel and Grace and the thing that is eating his birds.
There is a lot that can go wrong with a short film and a lot that can go right. The Thing That Ate the Birds (TTTATB) is a prime example of the latter. Right off the bat, we are greeted with a great into; a scene that starts without audio and slowly builds to a shrill soundscape as our protagonist stumbles upon the corpse of a bird—beheaded and bloodied. The splash screen with the title is also gorgeous with a wonderful font choice. This may sound like a silly thing to compliment but truthfully, when your film is barely 12 minutes in length, the smallest details can leave the biggest impressions.
The next scene builds our plot and quickly (and effortlessly) introduces us to our protagonists and their relationship. It’s masterfully done as we manage to learn more about this couple in a minute than anything I have managed to garner over certain couples that I’ve known for over a decade. There’s the typical drinking and dissatisfaction that comes with strained marriages, but Abel (Eoin Slattery) has more on his mind than his troubles with Grace (Rebecca Palmer); he’s got some kind of creature on his property that is killing all of the birds.
Giving away the plot is pointless when the film is as short as it is, but suffice it to say that TTTATB is a fantastic, A-grade creature flick that, in all honestly, I’d eagerly watch as a feature-length film. I do truly hope that this is a concept film and that a bigger production gets greenlit because this is the EXACT kind of horror that I prefer to watch. Open landscapes or desolate locations, broken people facing real struggles, wonderfully crafted creatures (Think The Descent ), and actual personalities rather than throw away killable character tropes just for a body count.
It’s a wonderfully macabre film and I would love to see more. The actors did a fantastic job and everything really blended together seamlessly, from the score to the editing to the wonderful practical effects. It was simply perfect.
TTTATB has already been released on Alter and I was unfortunately slow to jump on the review train, but this means that you are all lucky enough to watch the film in the link provided below. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. The poster art will also be there for your viewing pleasure.
If you liked TTTATB, check out this review for another film by Dan and Sophie: https://nevermore-horror.com/bill-short-film-and-review/
About Sophie & Dan (Sketchbook Pictures)
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.