Support Us!
$2
$3
$5
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

SEE THE NEWEST CONTENT BELOW!

SEE THE NEWEST CONTENT BELOW!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

[Review] Pandemic Thriller ‘Songbird’ is a Messy, Disjointed Cautionary Tale

Songbird isn’t the first genre feature to draw inspiration from the pandemic. Shudder’s Host made waves this summer with a lockdown-set Zoom séance gone wrong, and The Pandemic Anthology put out a global call to collect a series of shorts with quarantine limitations. Songbird is, however, the first feature to present a near-future set cautionary tale about the pandemic itself, devoid of creativity and with all the finesse of a sledgehammer in a fine China shop.

As the world enters its fourth year of quarantine lockdown, the virus has mutated into an even deadlier strain now called Covid-23. Infected Americans are ruthlessly taken from their homes and forced into primitive camps called Q-Zones, for which there’s no escape. Only the immune can leave their lodgings, their high-tech medical bracelets the sole object identifying their immunity to militant enforcers.

Songbird follows Nico (KJ Apa), a bike courier in love with Sara (Sofia Carson), a non-immune woman forced to remain in her apartment with her mother. When Sara comes under suspicion that she’s infected after her mother falls ill, the city’s sanitation leader (Peter Stormare) comes to seize them both and deliver them to the Q-Zone. Nico must race against the clock, enlist the aid of a wealthy couple that may hold key (Bradley Whitford and Demi Moore), and navigate martial law to save Sara before it’s too late. Rounding out the cast is Alexandra Daddario as a singer entangled in a messy and forbidden affair; Paul Walter Hauser as a disabled veteran whose best friend is a drone; and Craig Robinson as Nico’s boss.

Though Nico and his quest for love remain the narrative’s driving force, director/co-writer Adam Mason presents his film more as an ensemble. There’s a brief intro to every character, just enough to understand their role in Nico’s journey but not enough to engender the viewer to a single one. That’s because there’s not much meat on this story’s bones. Mason and his co-writer Simon Boyes exploit our current situation to fill in the sparse worldbuilding blanks. Outside of an opening credits sequence filled with social media videos and news bits presenting just how dystopian the world has grown in four years, Mason and Boyes simply exaggerate the current climate and fears to set the stakes for their cautionary tale. The assumption is that since we’ve been living in isolation for months, the work in adding thrills to this thriller is done for them.

The limitations of filming during Covid-19 shows. A lot of it is shot on computer screens and phones. The drab aesthetic looks textbook dystopian. Jerky camera movements gets mistaken for intensity in the more action-based sequences. The small-scaled story amidst a global pandemic forces Stormare to do all of the heavy lifting as the face of government corruption. The actor excels as this type of character, but when he’s forced to monologue about coming into power from lowly garbage collector to authoritarian sanitation leader because Covid, well, it renders him a cartoon villain at best. At worst, it reads like overt and ill-advised mixed messaging, as if to say that you should be careful to put on your mask and maintain social distancing lest the worst scum ascends leadership in the wake of so much death. Perhaps that’s reading far too much into a thriller crafted entirely around simplicity, but it can be difficult to avoid deciphering clunky dialogue and plot beats in a feature so unsure of its intention.

Not even the cast seems to know their purpose; it’s a disjointed ensemble stitched together by a generic, thinly written story. Stormare chews scenery like no tomorrow, but it feels wholly removed from Apa’s action-thriller seriousness and Moore’s black-market conspiracy. Daddario and Hauser get shoehorned into the plot haphazardly, but the irony is that it’s Hauser who brings the most sympathy to his character when there’s none to be found anywhere else. Considering that the intent was to center a pandemic thriller around a love story, well, it’s another strike.

Strictly in terms of mindless action thrills, Songbird is technically proficient enough given the constraints. Nico zips along from point A to B and back again for his love without any significant snag in momentum. It’s just lacking in any depth and opts to hold a magnifying glass up to the current climate instead of offering up escapism. It’s clear that Songbird is meant as a cautionary tale, but it’s so clumsy in its messaging that it winds up feeling directionless and glib at best, and exploitive at worst. What it’s trying to say isn’t clear, making the rush to get it made all the more perplexing.

Songbird releases on PVOD December 11, 2020.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3644101/review-pandemic-thriller-songbird-messy-disjointed-cautionary-tale-embarged-12-10-8am-ct/

No comments:

Post a Comment


Support Us!
$2
$3
$5
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



The Top 10 Streaming Scary Movies of Today (According to Netflix)

Given that Netflix really is the master of their own data, how many times a viewer streams The Ridiculous 6, or what films don't get watched all the way straight through, or how many times someone watches an episode of Bill Nye Saves the World, it was easy for them to come up with the list based on just one percentage: 70 percent.

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!


Top 5 Original Horror Movies of 2020 (Even During a Pandemic)


3 Frightening Clowns Not from the Underworld or Magical Hell


3 Viral Videos Proving Spiders Are Still Scary as Hell


Stephen King Adores These 22 Horror Films


3 Super Stories on 'Halloween' and Horror That'll Make You Want to Wear the Mask

xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'