Director – David Gregory
Cast – Josslyn DeCrosta, Erica Rhodes, David Lombard, Lindsay Goranson, James Warke, Catherine McMorrow, Elizabeth Bove, Michael Donaldson, Kate Aspinwall
Release Year – 2008
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This flick has gotten some good buzz in the horror world and I finally decided to give it a look myself to see what the fuss was about. The poster looked kinda cool, so that means the movie is cool right? Pfft! The film had an interesting plot but bad direction and underdeveloped plot elements really brought this film down.
“Plague Town” follows an American family who have traveled to Ireland to explore their roots. After winding up in the middle of nowhere they set up for the night in an abandoned car that still has all of it’s travel gear on it. Soon enough they meet some of the creepy locals and the conflict arises when the locals have no interest in letting the “outsiders” leave. Things only get worse for the family when they realize that it is the town’s mutant children who run the show and should be feared the most.
I do not understand what all the buzz is about with this film. It definitely had a “Wicker Man” feel and maybe that is why I disliked this film. I love “The Wicker Man“(the original one) but this flick came off more like the horrendous remake of “The Wicker Man”. This film did have an interesting concept in where the kids in the town are born with some kind of defect and turn very evil. The town is trying what they can to rid the “curse” and try and have normal babies again, but in order to do this they need the outside blood(and semen too) to trial-and-error their way to success. I liked that concept given I really haven’t seen that too much in horror films. I’ve seen flicks with killer children of course but nothing with the town acknowledging the faults in the children and trying to put a stop to it whatever way that they can.
The look of the children was pretty sweet as most of them had this very pale-skinned “zombie” look on their faces. Some of them even wore masks similar to those used in “The Strangers” but the use of the masks was not developed properly. The children would put the masks on, giggle, and then take them of and run somewhere else. This led me to personally not like the use of the children either, as they were really just annoying and run around giggling. Had they left the masks on and maybe been a bit creepy with their movements and hid in the shadows then this film’s scare level would have been raised a few notches. They did give us some pretty sweet kills but there was nothing overly creepy about them and that was a letdown.
Now onto my main gripe…the direction. Director David Gregory did a fine job with the cinematography of the film but failed when it came to editing and creating tension. The kill scenes had some good gore and were a good idea but were not executed properly and failed to give the viewer much emotional involvement. This is a big blunder because it is the emotional involvement of the viewer that makes the kill do it’s job and shock the viewer. He did however do a fantastic job with the scenes involving the character Rosemary. WOW. Not only did she nail her scenes perfectly and as creepy as possible but Mr. Gregory really took advantage of her presence and gave us the best scenes in the film. Had we seen more of her then maybe the film would have been scarier given her awesome design. A tall, pale, skinny girl with glass eyes that never blink…that’s amazing!
Overall, this is a mediocre film that could have been much better had some tweaks been made in the use of the most important elements of the film. Not recommended unless you are as curious as I was about this film.