Louie (Mackenzie Fearnley) and Irene (Shabana Azeez) met at a party and have since become quite fond of each other, so much so that they now live together and are engaged. With every exciting engagement comes something non-negotiable- naturally, I’m talking about the bachelor party. Louie and his friends are going to come together and meet up in the country, where plenty of noise and mischief can occur.
However, this bachelor party is going to be different. Joining them is Louie’s soon-to-be wife, Irene, who is invited to come along. As the celebration begins, friendships are tested on a whole new level. Louie’s future groomsmen gradually reveal unpleasant intentions as the sun goes down, and specific information about their relationships and past begins to surface. What started as a great time away with mates soon gets ugly, and a chain of unsettling memories.
Birdeater is a strange and unique film, but at the same time, it’s clever and brilliant. Firstly, the entire film is unsettling, even when nothing drastic occurs. Nothing on-screen is predictable or obvious, and the same could be said for each character who appears in the feature film. While watching, I continually found myself guessing what would happen next. I consistently questioned which character was up to no good or, perhaps, had a foul secret living within them.
Atmosphere is a strong player, and the Directors, Jack Clark and Jim Weir, have done a terrific job in this department. Many scenes are filled with tension and creepiness, in a tone similar to another Australian film, Wake in Fright. The darkness increases the drama and thrills throughout the party. The pacing is excellent, with only a couple of scenes that started to drag on, but sadly, the film’s final moments were slightly disappointing because I was left wanting to see more.
Overall, Birdeater is a tense watch, filled with many highly unpredictable, creepy, and unsettling moments. The characters here are impossible to read, and each scene plays out with either a fun reveal or a surprise you didn’t see coming. The atmosphere is a significant strength here, along with the excellent direction from Jack Clark and Jim Weir, who successfully capture the drama wonderfully through bone-chilling scenes. It’s a bachelor party that transforms and festers into something far more than I could have ever expected, and there’s an added freshness that comes with it, even though the likes of Wake in Fright have inspired it.