REVIEWS: 'The Book of Birdie' - THE VERGE - 'glitter, gold, and open wounds'

23 Nov 2017

The Book of Birdie imagines religious horror with glitter, gold, and open wounds

Elizabeth Schuch’s fantastic directorial debut comes on the heels of her work in Wonder Woman’s art department

This fall, The Verge is making a choice. The choice is fear! We’ve decided to embrace the season by taking in as many new horror movies as possible and reporting back on which ones are worth your time. We’re calling this series Hold My Hand, as we look at films you might want to watch with a supportive viewing partner. Get comfortable, put the kettle on, check the closet for ghosts, then find a hand to squeeze until the bones pop.
Culturally, we don’t think enough about morbid girls. There aren’t very many of them in our movies, beyond the silent, violent ones Emily Yoshida described for Vulture earlier this year, writing about LoganStranger Things, and Game of Thrones: “Their age and increasing silence has become a handy crutch for writers who might otherwise have a harder time bringing female leads to life.” Young women in movies tend to be just as confused as young men are, but with way less room to be super weird about it.
This fall has produced two standout entries into the tiny genre of morbid female coming-of-age films so far, a happy coincidence after the year kicked off with Julia Ducournau’s “teen girl cannibal movie” Raw. The first was Anita Rocha da Silveira’s debut Kill Me Please(actually released in Brazil in 2015, but just now making its way to the US), which followed a group of teenage girls as their ringleader nursed an obsession with a local serial killer’s beautiful young victims. The second is The Book of Birdie, another film from a first-time feature director. 

"It’s also girly coming-of-age at its morbid best, and the perfect piece of melancholy for a dark fall afternoon."