Kai Hohman, Lainey Martin, Tommy Kubena, Nicholas Sugarman, Antonio Yanez
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Movie Review: Vultures
It's always a special treat when a student film comes across my review desk. It's an even bigger treat when that film is as promising as is writer/director Jacob Thompson's ambitious Vultures, a post-apocalyptic endeavor about a world dominated by carnivorous vulture-like creatures and a lone, isolated hunter whose personal tragedies fuel his drive for something resembling redemption in this eerie, immersive world.
The man in question is played convincingly by Kai Hohman. We meet him in an isolated cabin, a dark and shadowy place dimly lit by his own generator that gives him just enough light to visit nearby graves we assume speak to a tragedy left untold. He is alone, though constant shadows we assume are of these creates are seemingly always present and always menacing in mostly quiet ways.
After yet another restless night, this hunter hears a female voice on his radio and heads out to search under the constant threat of the also always hunting creatures. He finds a woman (Lainey Martin) and another man (Nicholas Sugarman) in an encounter. A conflict ensues, then another.
At a mere 16-minutes in length, Vultures serves up uncomfortable, foreboding action with significant moments of introspection. It's nicely shot by Tim Brown with original music by Colten Mendelson and Billy Stump that adds to the ominous atmosphere. The film is an ensemble piece, Hohman's presence most dominating quite ably and Lainey Martin matching his stark rhythms note for note.
There's no denying that Vultures is a low-budget effort, though Thompson has made some wise choices creatively to keep budgetary limitations from showing including limiting his set and using natural light to tremendous advantage. It's for sure not a perfect film, but Vultures is quite impressive for this up-and-coming student filmmaker.
As someone who primarily reviews indie films, post-apocalyptic flicks are a dime a dozen. Thompson infuses his storytelling with some original notes to keep us invested and immerses us in this fiercely desperate world where every moment seems as if it could end in tragedy yet redemption also feels just as close.
Currently on its indie fest journey, Vultures is definitely worth a view if you get the chance.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic