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I was pretty excited about Plague Town. I had read about the movie in a recent article of Fangoria and was intrigued how, despite a limited budget and resources, it seemed as if it was shaping up to be a pretty good looking, creepy film. I was able to pick up a Blu-Ray of the film relatively cheaply (cheaper than the DVD edition even) on Amazon, and I was ready and gearing to go.
Really, I shouldn’t buy into hype.
That’s not to say that Plague Town is a bad film. It’s just not a very good one. It never seems to actually overcome it’s limitations and I couldn’t help but feel that, throughout the entire film, in the hands of a more skilled director with a little bit more dough, Plague Town could have been something special.
In Plague Town, a family trying to trace their Irish roots gets lost in the Irish countryside, and end up being stalked by a group of bloodthirsty kids and their messed up parents. While I will say that, given the generic nature of the storyline, the film didn’t feel generic, it just never really felt fully fleshed out either. I never really felt like I was seeing a “plague town,” and I know that was primarily budget limitations. There were kids running around in the woods, but no real town. There was a house or two strewn about in the countryside, but it just felt like a wasted opportunity. Why not a town populated by scary kids?
I don’t know if it was budgetary limitations, but the film just seemed REALLY dark. It didn’t seem properly lit, there were quite obvious quality differences from shot to shot, and the sound seemed to change in volume multiple times. May not be a fault of the filmmakers, but more of the Blu-Ray, which didn’t quite have Blu-Ray image quality.
I will say, despite a slow start, the middle section of the film, once the crazy kids start messing with the family, ends up being pretty suspenseful and I was actually getting pretty interested. But it teeters out in the end, leaving you unfulfilled and really, kind of confused. And the fact that, out of five main characters, three die pretty early on in the film, you’re left with only two people to watch, and really, you kind of are never really given a reason to care about them.
I actually enjoyed the story behind the film more than the film itself. A roughly thirty minute behind the scenes documentary shows that they really did try to make a great film, despite a lot of limitations, including filming the Irish countryside in a conservative Connecticut that didn’t want them there. Good stuff.
If you can catch Plague Town on your PPV, or pick up the DVD at a good bargain (the bonus features are worth checking), it’s worth a watch as a time-waster, but I wouldn’t expect the most innovative DTV in the world.