SXSW 2024:  Birdeater

Birdeater was one of the most chilling movies I’ve seen in a while, and it isn’t a horror film. Set in Australia, Louie is having his “stag do” (bachelor party) with three of his buddies in a small cabin in a lovely wooded area. He has also invited his fiancée and the fiancée of one of the guys, which seems a little strange for this type of get-together. The other couple, Charlie and Grace, are mid-twenties, devoutly Christian, and virgins.

Something seems off when we first meet Louie and Irene at their apartment. Irene looks very needy; she never leaves the apartment, and if Louie goes out, she begs him to stay. When he does leave, it seems like he is just killing time and wouldn’t have needed to go. They drive to the remote party area, using a ferry to cross a river, and all is good when they arrive. Soon, Charlie, Grace, Dylan, and Murph join them. Murph is quiet, and Dylan is a wild card, drinking a lot and lobbing insults at Louie.

The evening unfolds with the expected drinking, joking, and eating. Irene takes charge of the preparations, with Grace lending a hand. However, as the insults between the men escalate, a palpable tension fills the air. Past truths are unearthed, revealing shocking events that cast a new light on the current situation, leaving the audience in suspense.

Birdeater is a movie that I can’t help but praise. It’s chilling, suspenseful, and thoroughly entertaining. The co-directors, Clark and Weir, have done an exceptional job, and the cast’s performance is nothing short of excellent, adding to the overall quality of the film.

Directed by Jack Clark and Jim Weir

Cast: Mackenzie Fearnley as Louie

Shabana Azeez as Irene

Ben Hunter as Dylan

Jack Bannister as Charlie

Clementine Anderson as Grace

Alfie Gledhill as Murph

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