Sunday, November 26, 2006

Vamp or Not? The Roost


The main reasons, having read much about the 2005 film The Roost, for investigating it for a Vamp or Not? were two fold.

Despite coming across as a standard zombie flick it was listed at Upcoming Horror Movies as a vampire flick (as well as being in their misc and zombie categories), and they are normally accurate in their categories, plus there was much play made about bats on the DVD blurb, specifically vampire bats.

The film has an interesting false midnight horror feature aspect, with well made, corny looking black and white sequences at the beginning and end (plus part way through) where the film is introduced by the Horror Host (Tom Noonan).

The actual flick itself sees four friends, Trevor (Karl Jacob), Allison (Vanessa Horneff), Brian (Sean Reid) and Elliot (Wil Horneff) taking a back road on their way to a wedding and crashing their car. They go to get help at a farmhouse but we have already seen that nefarious things are happening.

Oh look batsThere are bats in a large nearby barn which have attacked the farm owners, Elvin (Richard Little) and May (Barbara Wilhide). However, once killed by these bats the victim comes back as a zombie. Throw in a cop (John Speredakos) and at the most you have four zombies at any given time. However, judicious use of darkness, good music effects and the fact that the human characters are also trying to avoid the bats and the director, Ti West, has created quite a tense little horror film.

Definitely a zombie!So far, no vamp, however. The use of bats is interesting but I am not one to subscribe to the theory that a bat attacking a person makes a film a vampire movie. Essentially this is just a zombie movie with some creature action thrown in. The zombies, as well as being created by bats, propagate in the standard bite and you’ll infect way.

You wouldn't normally stake a zombieThings, however, are not as straight forward as they seem. With two survivors left and only one zombie we hear a zombie use words and laughter to try and lure a victim. Not normal zombie behaviour. Up to that point the zombies have been killed the normal zombie way – head wound. This zombie, it appears, is killed by stake through the heart, not a normal method of zombie disposal (though not unheard of as I mentioned in the review for Dracula – the series).

This complicates matters slightly. Vocally zombies only moan and a stake through the heart is mainly reserved for vampires. Yet I do not believe this is enough to classify this, in any way, as a vampire movie. So, not vamp.

The link to upcoming horror movies at the head contains a link to a trailer and the imdb page is here.

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