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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: The Aviary (2022)

Film Review: The Aviary (2022)

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Malin Akerman and Chris Messina star in the twisted journey of two women’s desperate flee to escape the clutches of Skylight, an insidious cult. Lured in by the promise of “freedom” in the isolated desert campus called “The Aviary”, Jillian (Akerman) and Blair (Lorenzo Izzo) join forces to escape in hopes of real freedom. Consumed by fear and paranoia, they can’t shake the feeling that they are being followed by the cult’s leader, Seth (Messina), a man as seductive as he is controlling. The more distance the pair gains from the cult, the more Seth holds control of their minds. With supplies dwindling and their senses failing, Jillian and Blair are faced with a horrifying question: how do you run from an enemy who lives inside your head?


Directed and written by Chris Cullari and Jennifer Raite.

Forest Road Company present, The Aviary. We meet Jillian (Malin Ackerman) and Blair (Lorenna Izzo). They are on the run in the middle of the desert because why not.

By the way, an “Aviary” is “a large cage, building, or enclosure for keeping birds in.” According to Google’s dictionary.

Jillian and Blair are escaping a cult, in which they do not want to discuss. Cult films and cult situations are scary because people wind up in these situations with no explanation some times. They are celebrating and eating snacks. I don’t have a good feeling. I want to be optimistic but well, it is a horror movie.

Jillian is on edge and yelling out to the universe, well to Seth (Chris Messina), the cult leader. She wants him to know they escaped and they are semi-thriving in the middle of the desert. It bothers me on a different level. I don’t understand what would make a person follow someone blindly? What would make a person say, okay, this person knows it all. Let’s follow them! It doesn’t sit well with me.

Jillian has creepy nightmares and a PTSD feel. Blair seems a tad bit cooler, calmer, and collected. It’s cool to see Malin Akerman in a scary movie working alongside Lorenna Izzo, and Chris Messina. They talk about sessions they had with Seth and scary things that happened.

They start talking about Delilah (Sandrine Holt). Seth wanted to carve the symbol from Skylight, the cult into Jillian’s back. UGH, peeing outside can be bleak, squat lower, that’s Jillian’s advice. They do talk about why Blair joined and it gives some insight, I also have a tad bit of a strange feeling about Jillian, I don’t want to but she may have been too deep in the cult? Or maybe I’m overanalyzing the movies as usual?

Oh no, they also took his laptop. This is making me nervous. Jillian is having strange dreams and Seth is appearing in her dreams. Uh-oh, they arrive some place that looks like there may or may not be people there. The psychological torment in this movie is scary. You’re not quite sure if they are hallucinating?

The calm demeanor of Seth’s character even in the dreams is creepy. Chris Cullari and Jennifer Raite did a good job with the story, the shots in the film. The actors did an amazing job playing these characters that are broken, traumatized yet strong, and trying to fix all of this.

This movie is impactful, the cast isn’t huge but it’s powerful with the message. The creepiness of just waiting for this Seth dude to appear, it’s nerve wrecking. People who don’t apologize when they’re wrong, I will never understand that. They will make it seem like your crazy and just nitpick.

Blair wants Jillian to admit some stuff, she wants Jillian to possibly apologize?! It may or may not happen? They are still in the desert, and I’m still concerned about Jillian. Is she good, bad, maybe just suffering from being in the cult? Don’t eat berries in the desert folks unless you know they are not poisonous.

The Aviary is a great psychological, creepy film. Make sure to check it out.

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