It's Alison's 19th birthday and she returns home with her boyfriend Pete to celebrate with her family. When she arrives, strange new relatives begin to show up and everyone around Alison begins to act very peculiar. What dark secret is her family hiding and how does it relate to Alison's approaching birthday?
In general I've been pleased with the Australian movies that I've seen. Granted I've seen probably about a whopping 1% of their total movies produced and certainly I haven't liked everything: "Director's Cut" didn't do much for me and I've never been a fan of the whole "Mad Max" canon. (Yeah, yeah, I know.) But I've never really seen a movie from them that has made me scream, "Holy fuck! That movie's a piece of shit!" Then I saw "Alison's Birthday;" a movie that could put even the most insomniac laden person to sleep.
There's nothing to "Alison's Birthday:" Alison returns to her homeplace to celebrate her 19th birthday with her boyfriend. Of course she does this even though when she was 16, she and her friends held a gag séance where one of her friends became possessed by Alison's dead father who tells her not to return for her 19th birthday. So what happens when a person returns back home after a couple years have passed even though they were warned not to? Weird shit goes down, of course. People start acting weird, there's a weird Stonehenge-esque monument behind Alison's home, Alison has nightmares, weird never-before-seen people show up, etc. You know, just one "Weird thing" after another that would make any normal person leave.
Though nothing ever really occurs - just weird things happen with weird people to help build the suspense and the supposed mystery of what the truth is. There's never really any tension, suspense, or atmosphere - something uneventful occurs and then people talk. Then after those people get done talking, other people start talking. Can you guess what happens after those people are finished talking? More people start fucking talking! That's all the ever goes on - talking. And just when you think something is about to occur because you've finally reached the climactic ending that this movie has been slowly, and unbearably, building towards. What do they do? Mix in chanting with the talking.
I'm not sure if I'm partaking in some blasphemous act since apparently Ian Coughlan is a renowned Australian director. Even so, I don't care. "Alison's Birthday" is just an ungodly dull movie that was nothing but a chore to watch. It's as if someone took "Rosemary's Baby" and sucked all the good out of it.
Hold on there a minute, Mr. Grumpy-pants. "Alison's Birthday" is a made-for-tv movie, so you can't expect much excitement or even a quality movie with such an obviously limited format.
Bull-pie! "Alison's Birthday" being made-for-tv is no excuse for how boring and uneventful the movie is. I'm probably one of the few people who will admit to purposely watching made-for-tv horror flicks, and enjoying them to boot. "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" had people getting shot, stabbed with a pitchfork, and some even being killed with industrial farming equipment. The UK managed to scare the living shit out of EVERYONE with the faux-documentary "Ghostwatch". So there isn't any excuse "Alison's Birthday" has for being the terrible movie that it was, which is actually a shame because it had the potential to be good. Unfortunately it wasn't.