House of Black Wings
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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.
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!
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.Read more ›
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:
Most Recent Customer Reviews
there is no way anyone who isn't somehow connected with this film gave it more than 2 stars. it is not low budget, it is NO budget. Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by Bill Eichhorn
First: I haven't seen this movie. But I found the description of "House of Black Wings" highly reminiscent of Lovecraft's "The Music of Erich Zann. Read morePublished on December 4, 2013 by Gearald Becker
*Spoiler* It took me just forty minutes to realize the hippy "artists" and their interior decoration, lifestyle and angst were far more horrifying than anything else the... Read morePublished on April 28, 2013 by Evan Schackmann
This movie was complete crap - a waste of time and money. Ignore the "support independent film" push that reviewers keep posting.Published on February 28, 2013 by zanne
Those who wrote this script, developed the screen play, created the set and special effects, wrote and played the sound track, must have had a blast making this production. Read morePublished on February 18, 2013 by Kirt J. Baab
I'm not a fan of a movie that has so many characters in it that you can't keep track of who's who. There are too many scenes where the girls are showed crying, or thinking, or... Read morePublished on December 2, 2012 by Mary L. Kubac
I'm all for a good, indie horror flick now & then. I enjoy deeply psychological movies with a cryptic message. But this... This movie made little to no sense to me. Read morePublished on July 26, 2012 by Evenstar
Ok, allow me to begin by inserting some credentials. I just watched this with my girlfriend, and we are both individuals with intelligence high enough to... Read more
An amateur film made film.
If you like your films fast paced, with a clearly defined story and even clearer supernatural element, don't get this. Read more