The Roost (2004) This extremely low budget flick from director Ti West starts off with an old school TV horror host (Tom Noonan, of all people!) opening his show which is going to be showing a movie called The Roost. After a few minutes of the standard horror host shtick, the real movie begins, which sends four twentysomething nobodies off to the boonies for someone's wedding. Before they can arrive however, the car of course breaks down, stranding the quartet (all together now) out in the middle of nowhere! Making their bad night even worse, the farmhouse they go seek help from has a barn full of mutant vampire bats! And the farm's owners, already attacked and killed, are actually a second menace to Our Heroes. Which leads me to one thing I've noticed about low budget monster movies in the last few years: If your main monster is too expensive to have on screen long enough to menace everyone that needs menacing, one fall back is to have your main creature's attack turn its victim into a zombie. That way, if you only have enough money for at most three adequate CGI scenes of bats/giant spiders/cockroaches/snakes attacking plus your big climax , but you have four or six main cast members, you can glop cheap goopy zombie makeup on the first couple of victims and have them knock off a couple of the others so you can save the effects for the climax. And that's what we have here. From there, you can kind of map this one out. Breaking it all down into pluses and minues: on the plus side, it's always nice to see Noonan. There are a couple of nice jump scenes. The CGI on the bats is extremely well done, especially considering the movie's budget. Then, on the minus side: while the stuff with Noonan is kind of fun, it's also pretty obvious it's there to pad out the very brief running time (around 70 minutes minus horror host). And speaking of that brief running time, it unfortunately takes about 40 of the movie's 70 minutes to get the kids into position at the farm for the bats and zombies to attack. Also, after the movie finally does pick up, one of the horror host sequences (literally) breaks in to the movie and totally stalls the flick out for several minutes. Another problem: absolutely not one second of explanation of where the bats come from or why they are in this particular barn. I know what the filmmakers were going for here; sometimes events just start happening and people are thrown in to them and no one knows what's really going on. Sometimes this adds to the menace of the movie. In this case, however, I'm forced to put it down to sloppy or bad screenwriting. Next: if you can't see the end coming a mile off, get a new hobby. The final minus is that the movie was shot on video, then given a film look in a computer, with added grain, scratches, and even the aforementioned film break, none of which is convincing or adds much to the movie. The reason it falls fully on the minus side is because the filmmakers baldly lie in the credits that the movie was shot on film. No fibbing in the credits, fellas, unless you're making an obvious joke! So, taking a look at the totals here: pluses 3, minuses 6. It's too bad, because with a tighter script that got down to business quicker, and threw out some kind of an explanation; and the really good bat scenes used to better effect, this could have been a neat little movie. As is, not recommended.