Whereas LoT was more of a supernatural mystery, I classify Unkindness as a psychological thriller. Although there are horrific manifestations, they arise less from the paranormal and more from the mental.
As before, Mr. Brewster and his team bring an intensity to the screen that kept me glued. The direction and cinematography not only haunt but make the audience feel the loneliness, conflict, and madness of the protagonist.
Jamie Scott Gordon outdoes his performance in Lord of Tears, making Andrew’s psychoses and conflict come to life. To carry a film in which he’s the only screen presence for the vast majority is impressive.
Gavin Robertson and Michael Brewster are masters of imagery, putting you right alongside Andrew on his horrific journey. Of course, the use of the Scottish Highlands played no small part in creating the eerie world through which he travels.
Story-wise, I find this one superior in some ways to Lord of Tears. Although still somewhat predictable, despite a twist towards the end, I think Sarah Daly’s writing created a solid backbone underneath the chaos of the film.
I will say the visual effects sometimes fell a little flat, particularly the low-quality CG birds and war scenes. There were some excellent practical effects, however, that churned the stomach in all the right ways.
Now, I found the “Owl Man” far more disturbing than the “Raven Warriors”, although they grew on me. I may merely be jaded when it comes to horror, though, as my young son found these creatures terrifying, hiding under the covers at times.
I won’t lie as I think Unkindness may be too chaotic and confusing for some viewers. The way the film portrays the conflict within Andrew’s mind, through quick edits, random scenes, jumps into memories, and shifts between realities are quite overwhelming.
I found that to be the movie’s strength, however, in the same manner in which Hellblade: Senua portrayed schizophrenia. In fact, much of the imagery throughout reminded me of that game and provided the same sense of being lost and confused.
I give The Unkindness of Ravens a haunting 4 bone flutes out of 5.