Thunderbird (2019) – Review

Set against the beautiful backdrop of the America’s Pacific Northwest, Thunderbird is a haunting tale that follows Will Brook (Colten Wilke), a man struggling to cope with the fact that his sister has gone missing. Upon leaving the fishing boat he calls home, Will heads into the local town, determined to find her, but walks into various problems along the way. Detective Ivy Seymour (Natalie Brown) is also in the area, working on a homicide case after the number of missing women in the town begins growing at an alarming rate. Directed by Nicholas Treeshin, Thunderbird is a surprisingly good low-budget thriller that will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video from June 4th, 2021.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Director: Nicholas Treeshin
Writers: Nicholas Treeshin
Starring: Colten Wilke, Natalie Brown, Julian Black Antelope, William Belleau

Originally released in December of 2019 to Canadian audiences at the Whistler Film Festival, Thunderbird finally lands on Amazon Prime Video to wider audiences on June 4th. It could be argued that to some that Thunderbird carries a cliché story of a determined detective investigating a fresh murder case, with help from the stubborn relative of a missing person, but it’s fair to say there’s quite a few additional interesting and complex layers to the film on a whole. You could certainly compare elements of this one to a similar release – with an albeit larger budget – Wind River (2017).

As far as long, drawn out, psychological thrillers go, Thunderbird could be right up there as one of the slowest on offer. I’d go as far as saying you could probably play the film at 1.5x speed and still enjoy it comfortably without losing out on much of the viewing experience. With that being said, I don’t necessarily think the choice of drawing out a large majority of the scenes was a bad choice by the filmmakers, especially considering the nature and overall feel of the film being conveyed, and the seriousness of the story being told.

One aspect of the movie that certainly impressed would have to be the soundtrack – this played a huge role, lingering in almost every single scene and I would be lying if I said it didn’t manage to add to the suspense factor. Something else that stood out would have to be the flashbacks and various special effects experienced by certain characters. These managed to successfully provide a deep enough backstory to keep you interested, while fueling the guilt and torment that was prevalent throughout.

The cast were pleasantly appealing too – as previously touched upon, Colten Wilke and Natalie Brown co-starred and spearheaded the flick, portraying Will and Ivy, while there were also appearances for Julian Black Antelope and William Belleau who adopted the roles of Chief George and Eddie. Elsewhere, Aaron Douglas found a support role in the form of Officer Joe Fletcher, probably the most notable of many others that were also involved.

In terms of recent low-budget releases, I’d comfortable say that this is worth a watch, especially in terms of acting, cinematography and story, more so if you’re able to bypass the fact that many of the scenes linger on for just a tiny bit too long, coupled with a slightly underwhelming finale… It’s worth noting that Thunderbird is available on demand via Vimeo and on demand in Canada, United States and United Kingdom via Amazon Prime Video on June 4th 2021.

“I’m nobody… I’m just going to leave…”

Will Brook – Thunderbird

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