‘Pray for daylight’
Bats is a 2021 British horror film about an alien virus that causes the titular creatures to grow into giant man-eating humanoid monsters. Announced as Bats: The Awakening
Directed and produced by Scott Jeffrey (Dragon Fury; Rats Reborn; Bad Nun: Deadly Vows; Don’t Speak; Cupid) and Rebecca Matthews (Witches of Amityville Academy; The Candy Witch; Pet Graveyard) from a screenplay written by Scott Jeffrey (also editor).
The Proportion Productions movie stars Megan Purvis (Devil Djinn; Rise of the Mummy; The Young Cannibals), Georgia Conlan (Repeat; Charlotte: The Movie), Ricardo Freitas (Rats Reborn; HellKat; Medusa: Queen of the Serpents) and Amanda-Jade Tyler (Amityville Cornfield; Hatched; Rise of the Mummy) and
Following a nuclear power plant meltdown, nearby Nosferatu Village became radiated and subsequently abandoned for more than a decade. The year is now 1984, and the public has been permitted to return.
A small group come back to their long lost family home only to find an irradiated monster bat living in their attic. The family now must survive the night to escape at dawn, but the monster has other plans and they soon begin to find themselves infected with a deadly plague that may just kill them if the monster doesn’t first…
“The man-bat creation is, for the most part, a rather scary creation (although the less you see the more effective it is). There are some great practical effects here, sparingly used (a head peeling, the result of the creature’s cry, is very effective). Also, Greg Birkumshaw’s score is very good…” Dark Eyes of London
“With the welcome addition of some much needed gory effects and a classic horror trope of killer bats, albeit of the mutated variety, Bats is a decent foray in familiar territory. A film that’s sadly missing the human aspect of Medusa and Hatched but still one that’s lots of fun.” Nerdly
“So if this is sounding awful… well the accents are, the pretending to be in America is, and the plotting is. It is low budget, however, I have to say that the man-bat outfit was rather fun… not Hollywood standard but certainly good enough to have been in more mainstream 60s and 70s UK horror […] Indeed the little bit of gore – exploding head and rotting arm – worked rather well too.” Taliesen Meets the Vampires
“The plot itself is nothing out of the ordinary but the settings give it some extra atmosphere […] Surprisingly, given the source, Bats does have a couple of attempts at actual gore […] Bats is a reasonably suspenseful and entertaining film…” Voices from the Balcony
Cast and characters:
Megan Purvis … Jamie King
Georgia Conlan … Amelia King
Amanda-Jade Tyler … Lisa King
Ricardo Freitas … Rick King
Kate Sandison … Georgie King
Venetia Cook … Mel
Marek Lichtenberg … Jack
Nicole Nabi … Natalie
Mat Sibal … Matty (as Mathew Sibal)
Ellis Tustin … Drew
MOVIES and MANIA verdict:
Despite having been filmed in an English Tudor house, Bats purports to be set in the USA so once again a Scott Jeffrey movie requires the entire cast to adopt faux American accents that immediately kill any real viewer engagement. Quite how the producers feel this is going to fool or even endear either Yanks or Brits is perhaps a moot point because once they have parted with their cash the deceit has been done. Maybe it’s just to appease shallow US distributors? But it’s bloody annoying all the same.
On the plus side, the briefly seen Nosferatu-inspired bat creature – designed by Stephanie Harrison – is a step up for Proportion Productions and Greg Birkumshaw’s score is also better than the usual for this company. Unfortunately, such positives are not enough to save Bats from being another drab run-of-the-Tudor-house movie that rarely sets the pulse above normal, let alone racing.
The Bat People (1974)
Full film free to watch online: