Because of the insanely boring dialogue, it makes the characters seem impossibly inane and even harder to give a shit about. What Ti West does have going for him is an uncanny ability to present thick and delicious atmosphere that very few directors can top. In the three above films I mentioned, atmosphere is the key ingredient. Dark roads, forboding houses, fog rolling in, strange noises, and unexpected twists and turns...all while we patiently wait between dialogue for something to occur. In The Roost, West's first feature-length directorial outing, we sure do wait. And wait. I love a slow burn just like the next guy but man, this is ridiculous.
Before we even get to the "real" film, there is an extended little vignette that is in black and white and introduces us to a television horror host played by none other than Tom Noonan (yay!). I'll admit, this prelude did add a bit to the film. It was sort of a tamed down version of something Rob Zombie did two years prior in House of 1000 Corpses. It is here where you can tell a director who has a serious love of the genre and the old thrillers that were played in the wee hours of the morning, hosted by various characters over the years.
Here, the horror host describes the upcoming film, almost poking fun at it before it begins.
It should be noted that though this is a low-budget outing, West does a good job evoking creepiness and impending doom.
Meanwhile, an elderly couple are locking up their house and packing their truck for an apparent trip of some kind. The little missus asks Gramps if he locked the barn and with a rolling of the eyes, he goes to check. Unfortunately he has never noticed the giant fucking horde of huge-ass bats roosting there (it is his barn, isn't it?) and he meets an untimely (or timely, as the case may be - he IS quite old!) death, as does his wife when she comes to check on him.
Yep, them there bats are huge- like vampire bats, ya hear?
Um, okay. I was seriously okay with just the bats. But I guess it wasn't gory enough. Zombies eating people is almost always bloodier than simple bat bites!
Once again, I have to reiterate how un-enamored I was with the characters. We are not given any back story whatsoever on them and therefore tend not to have any sympathy going forward. I could barely recall their names by the
All in all, I can't say I loved The Roost. Far from it. But I didn't hate it and it does have some decent action and gratifying gore, and like I said, atmosphere is key here. And lets not forget how damn cool it is to watch people get attacked by giant vampire bats, that always rates high in my book! You could do a lot worse. But even Ti can do better. And does. Somehow though, this movie ranked as one of the Top 10 Movies of 2005 by Bloody-Disgusting. Was 2005 really that bad of a year for horror?