During the opening credits, middle-aged farmer Rolf goes to his barn to get his tractor out. He accidentally reverses it over a raven that's munching on a worm. Incensed, a ton of other ravens swoop down from the barn's rafter and peck Rolf to death.
This is the first incident in a day from Hell for small town Sheriff Wayne (Sean Patrick Flanery, DEMON HUNTER). It's his last day on the job (!) and he can't wait to start a new life as a professor of anthropological culture ...
But the day gets worse as he's called out to Rolf's farm to investigate the mysterious death.
Meanwhile recovering alcoholic Clyde (Stephen McHattie, 300) is attacked by ravens - and causes a stir with the neighbours when he starts firing his shotgun to protect himself.
Leaving his deputy to sort out the mess at Rolf's, Wayne is summoned to have a word with crazy old Clyde - and he finally catches up with him in a local cafe. Initially Wayne doesn't believe Clyde's story of vicious swarms of huge ravens ... but before long he sees the evidence first-hand.
Thrown into the mix are Wayne's dizzy wife, a badly acted Amish family and a couple of unfortunate travellers who just happen to be passing through the town on the wrong day ...
KAW is obviously going to draw comparisons with THE BIRDS. And, just as obviously, it's going to look like a turd alongside Hitchcock's masterful drama.
But KAW does have some things going for it. The cast (apart from Amish lot) are quite strong, Flanery is convincing and endearing lead, and the production values are fairly slick.
Tension is approached at times, although the direction from Sheldon Wilson is - for the most part - strictly pedestrian. It's not a patch on his much more original SHALLOW GROUND.
The film does boast some entertaining set-pieces, but also suffers from its share of poor CGI. It does offer an explanation, of sorts, regarding the birds' behaviour, but Benjamin Sztajnkrycer's script is clever enough to move on from this before we start to question it too much.
KAW is okay, but forgettable. It has the look and feel of a decent Sci-Fi channel movie.
Starz's release brings KAW to us fully uncut, in an impressive anamorphic 1.78:1 presentation. Images are sharp and bright throughout.
The English audio is available in both 2.0 and 5.1 mixes - both of which are rousing efforts.
Static menus include a scene-selection menu allowing access to the main feature via 12 chapters.
Alas, there's no extras on offer here.
KAW is watchable enough. The curious may want to get it when it's cheap.
Review by Stu Willis
|Released by Anchor Bay UK|
|Region 2 - PAL|
|see main review|