Earthquake Bird is a 2019 horror film that’s more odd than frightening.
2 out of 10 stars. There’s not much of a plot in this film and the ending was flat.
Louisa “Lucy” Fly works as a translator in Japan translating Japanese technical books into English. She lives a solitary life and has no relationships other than the string quartet she plays cello for (all Japanese women). Then one day a handsome Japanese man, Teiji Matsuda, takes her photograph. Since no man has ever taken an interest in her, she’s intrigued. She’s also attracted to him. She approaches him and they chat then she follows him to work where he’s a fast food cook.
From the very beginning there is something deeply disturbing about Lucy, but there’s also something deeply disturbing about Teiji. She tells him she’s physically attracted to him and he shows her photographs he’s taken of dead women, including his mother. This doesn’t scare her off. Instead she begins stripping. He tells her he never asked her to strip and has no interest in her that way. But later they end up in bed together anyway.
After a few weeks Lucy is introduced to an American girl visiting Japan, Lily Bridges. Lily is everything Lucy is not–outgoing, raucous, slutty, tacky, and deceptive. She begins hitting on Teiji rather quickly which understandably makes Lucy angry. Eventually she catches Lily and Teiji together and realizes she’s been dumped. A week or so later Lily comes to her apartment and apologizes but Lucy won’t let her in. Then Lily disappears.
A few weeks pass and the body of a woman is found. The police immediately think it’s Lily and bring Lucy in for questioning. Lucy, who is obviously riddled with some kind of guilt, confesses. A few days go by and the police discover that the body is NOT Lily’s, so they question her again. She admits she never killed Lily. So the inspector asks her why she confessed and what she feels so guilty about. When she was eight, her older brothers found her reading high up in a tree and began throwing rocks at her. Her brother Marcus had a particularly large rock he was going to throw at her, so she jumped on him. His head was impaled with a rusty nail from a piece of wood and he died an hour later at the hospital. For three years she never spoke and her parents ignored her. So she began learning Japanese and plotting her escape to Japan. When she was fourteen she went to her best friend’s house and she wasn’t there. Her best friend’s father led her into the back and raped her. Two months later when he learned she was pregnant he killed himself then she miscarried. So Lucy has been carrying around the guilt of these three deaths. In addition, a few weeks ago she was at a Japanese friend’s house, one of the women in the string quarter, and another member was coming up the stairs, slipped, fell, and died at the bottom of the stairs. It wasn’t Lucy’s fault, but she blames herself for that too.
The police let Lucy go and tell her that Teiji has disappeared too and is a suspect in Lily’s disappearance. So Lucy goes to Teiji’s place and immediately begins looking through those photographs of dead women. Lily’s is at the very back and the photo of her was taken in that very room.
Lucy takes the photo to the police but the detective won’t be in until tomorrow so she reluctantly goes home with the photograph. Teiji is there waiting for her and he begs her to take him back. She says no. He immediately begins strangling her. She grabs a ceramic pot and hits him over the head with it. He dies.
The ending is Lucy staying in the apartment with her Japanese friend, the one whose house she was at when the other friend slipped and fell and died. And when she tells her it was her fault, her friend says: No, it wasn’t. I polished the floor the day before and almost warned her, but forgot. Am I to blame?
2 out of 10 stars. It was very slow and there was no tension at all. It also made absolutely no sense at all. Bad acting or maybe just a bad script, but people don’t normally act this way, not even traumatized people. Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough plays Lily and in the karaoke scene she was totally tone deaf. :0