Movie Review - Mockingbird
Mockingbird is the second film from the twisted mind of writer and director Bryan Bertino. His first film, The Strangers, was insanely creepy and twisted, and his follow is absolutely no different. But Mockingbird loses some of the subtlety and instead goes straight for the jugular. Bertino presents us with a truly depraved tale that at times feels like an assault on the senses. The opening scene alone is so vicious that it will leave your jaw hanging in disbelief. And this only sets the tone for a movie that is both relentless and utterly cruel. I have to give credit to Blum House for getting behind a film that truly pushes the boundaries. Now, much like many other films released so far this year, the entire movie is shot in POV. And I know some genre fans are growing slightly tired (or really tired) of this approach, but here the film makers manage to create an original take on the style. Personally, I found every second completely engrossing and don't mind saying - Mockingbird is one of my favorite horror films of the year.
An unemployed man that lives with his mother, a young girl that lives in the guest house of a wealthy family, and a married couple with two children that are home alone for the evening, all receive a package on their front doorstep. Inside each one finds a video camera that is already recording with a set of instructions that say, "Keep Filming". But as the evening continues, more instructions follow, and all four find themselves caught in some strange game, where the only real rule is to keep filming, or you die.
Is the film completely original? Not exactly, in fact, it borrows many elements from Bertino's first movie. But the approach is much different. The director does well to move the film along at a breakneck pace, which makes the eighty-one minute running time disappear in what seems like a half an hour. He carefully builds the tension up like a delicate house-of-cards, before demolishing it in the final act. The cast is phenomenal as well, all turning in gut-wrenching performances as innocent people being used as puppets in someone else's insanely sick game. And although you may get an inkling of where the film is headed long before you actually arrive there, I found the surprise reveal at the end of the film to be depraved and deeply disturbing. Perhaps because in this day and age it feels entirely plausible, or perhaps because the film is so well made. Either way, this film will grab you by the balls and never let go until the final curtain is pulled back. I highly recommend this one to everyone, though the content may be a little to intense for some of the fans of less edgy horror movies, I think everyone else will enjoy it immensely. Now available on VOD and Netflix. Enjoy. Cheers.
- Leo Francis