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House of Black Wings

2.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

After a tragic act of violence cuts short her music career, Kate Stone is returning to a city full of ex-fans and ex-friends. Taking shelter with her last friend, a struggling artist named Robyn Huck, the two women work to restore the aging courtyard apartment building Robyn has inherited. But a terrible secret infests the venerable structure, and soon Kate will be haunted by horrific dreams, sinister apparitions, and the sounds of something moving in the walls. She will be dragged into a confrontation not only with her own dark past, but the unspeakable nightmare that lurks beyond the walls! *** In the style of character-driven 70's thrillers, experience this Lovecraftian ghost story from Sword & Cloak Productions. Special Features: "Making Of" Featurette, Wrap Reel, Trailer, Photo Gallery & Crew Commentary. Captions for the Hearing Impaired.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Leah Myette, Katherine Herrera, Michael Klug, Tirf Alexius, Amy Harmon
  • Directors: David Schmidt
  • Writers: David Schmidt
  • Producers: David Schmidt, James M. Collins II
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Sword & Cloak Productions
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003NX7EEQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,248 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Modern film horror is normally about the action. The torture of Saw, the violent actions of the 'soulless monster of the summer'. Horror should be an exploration of character. Of the viewer understanding the motivations of a character so completely, that they go internally into the same unspeakable direction.

David Schmidt provides this portrait in the story of two very broken women leaning on each other for support. Rather than being idiotic victims who won't leave the cabin, in this film, both internally and externally, there's no where else for these two to go. And the horror surrounding and infecting them falls deeply within their own torment.

HOBW's found locations give a solid impression of North chicago, and the ominous, ancient garden apartments left to rot after the housing boom. The pacing is measured, but by the time the darkness caves in around you, you have nowhere else to go either.
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Format: DVD
Thank God for David Schmidt, director of House of Black Wings.

In a sea of mindless remakes and sequels, House of Black Wings rises to the top. Mr. Schmidt gives us a fresh new story line, driven by characters, instead of the desire to showcase make-up FXs. This is not to say that the film is not without a good splash of blood, but it's not its main focus. Monsters, neurotic neighbors, ghosts, and lovecraftian wormholes, permeate this film -- as well as multi-dimensional, likeable characters!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I think this film has received a lot of unjust criticism. Not many people have even the slightest clue what it's like to make a movie, and while the reviews here may touch on valid points, they come down too hard on what is a pretty well done amateur movie. This is not "amateur" in the perverted, modern sense, where no one involved had any idea what they were doing, but in the sense that these people pursued the movie for the joy of the art. Though its shortfalls would keep me from recommending it as a "good" flick, I think it deserves praise and a viewing from anyone who is interested in independent films.

The film's strongest point is in its technical execution. The direction was mostly very clear, as was the audio. I felt that I knew what was happening in any given scene, which is a fundamental skill for any director, but not one that comes naturally by any means (some films with an "After Dark" budget manage to screw this up). The actors did well across the board to carry their characters through the film, though they didn't have much material to work with. Also, there were few special effects employed in the entire film - I applaud this, as the movie would have completely lost its charm as soon as a hoard of CG monsters came crawling out of the wall or a ghostly shade tore violently through the building in a chase scene. The supernatural elements are fairly subtle, and that works to enhance the mood. The setting, plot and sets were all great, and the ending managed a fair amount of tension.

Where the film falls short is in the writing. The story wants to be very character driven, but halfway through the film I still didn't feel like I knew the characters at all. Robyn is an artist, Kate is a heartbroken musician and they are good friends.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this low-budget indie. It was a pleasant surprise with lots of good creeps and chills. It is a relief to find a decent movie away from the mainstream drivel. I'd like to see more movies from this production company.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Lacking the budget to show us otherworldly horror, this film does a fine job of suggesting it. The filmmakers pay homage to Lovecraft by emulating the "feel" of his work rather than simply name-dropping the usual Cthulhus and Nyarlathoteps in the story. The main characters are given rich backgrounds. Some nice plot twists and a unique location for the final showdown with the black wings of the title.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
"House of Black Wings" is a delight for any fan of Lovecraftian weird fiction, as it centers on the juxtapositioning of mundane reality with horrific glimpses into the dark cosmic void. If you are looking for gore or cheap thrills, this movie is not for you. It maintains a steady pace, building the two main characters as they are drawn into the terrible lure of the creatures who inhabit the old apartment building. The film also has a minuscule budget; ergo, the special effects are nearly non-existent--and the look of the film is quite basic. Yet the film succeeds through character development and a haunted, brooding atmosphere. If you like intellectual horror (or simply a good, weird story), "House of Black Wings" is right up your alley.
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Format: DVD
This is the story of a young woman who, in retreating from a personal tragedy, finds herself wrapped up in a deadly supernatural mystery. What starts as a ghost story soon winds its way into the realms of cosmic horror...

House of Black Wings is an attempt to create a Lovecraftian horror movie on a miniscule budget, and it succeeds on its own terms. The cracks may show in the special effects, and some of the acting is a bit amateurish, but the storytelling and the ideas never falter, and the movie creates terrific atmosphere and some disturbing imagery.

For a sample of what writer/director David Schmidt and his crew can do, I'd recommend checking out his short film The Lovecraft Syndrome, which has some of the same cast members:
[...]
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