Haunted Honeymoon

Film Review: Plague Town (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

While unearthing their ancestral roots in Ireland, members of a dysfunctional American family (David Lombard, Erica Rhodes, Josslyn DeCrosta and Lindsay Goranson) find themselves stranded in a remote country setting, surrounded by a sinister secret. The locals are creepy, to say the least. But could they be hiding a far more frightening truth about their own children? David Gregory directs this freak-filled gore-fest.

REVIEW:

We recognize the lead in. A family that has their share of personal and attitude issues goes off on an excursion into Ireland to trace there family roots and do some site seeing along the way. While they try and enjoy there festive outings, it appears that there is more disfunction in there ability to get along than most would endure on a vacation for that matter. Though that portion in the scheme of things really isn’t all that important when it comes down to things. The main point here is the common case of outsiders digging into where they don’t belong. A bit of misplaced culture that finds its way to a culture that has its own set of rules and circumstances.

In the intro of the film, we are greeted with the origin of the town 14 years ago. Apparently this town is somewhat cursed with the birthing of disformed, ugly and maniacal children. Though we don’t need to see that fact to get that idea. This sets the stage of where we return to in the present.

As the Monohan family embark on there site seeing and are somewhat distracted with family matters they inadvertently miss the bus and have to resort to walking about the area to find lodging. At some point this walk in the country turns from the world they knew into the one they are about to become apart of. This also suggests a perspective in the filmmaking that almost transports them back to an earlier time due to the primitive nature of the Irish country folk they encounter. Though really what they find is a nightmare buried in an unknown region of the world that seems to spawn disfigured, maniacal children who run rampant at night and have no problem or remorse murdering for fun, entertainment or retaliation A sort of displaced community of freaks. What is jarring is the way they go about it and how the ways of the world are ignored in favor of the world they have created in there small nook of the country.

We’ve seen this idea before in films such as Hills as Eyes though the main translation is that these kids have been shunned, abandoned and let to run free for some time. Because of there numbers, they are able to attack in there own fashion. The oldest one named Rosemary (Kate Aspinwall) is perhaps the oddest of the bunch who we assume is blind and looks like a cross between Marilyn Manson and a halloween bride. She also is assumed to be the leader of the twisted and deranged. In expected fashion, some family members get brutally slain and others push on for survival. Dark secrets about the town and its occupants are revealed and a more sinister intention that goes back to the earlier days of child birthing. The town itself is both rural and traditional which also reminded me of the film “Dead and Buried” Potters Bluff.

David Gregory has done a fine job at creating an original piece that holds an homage to many. The children are best described as a cross between the Manson family, “The People Under the Stairs” , “The Brood” and the “Children of the Corn”. There actions although playful are nightmarish in there innocence. Most disturbingly are the smirks they all sport as they seem to indulge without care. The 2nd element of masks provides a cold sense that was felt in films such as “The Strangers” and “Repo, the Genetic opera”.

While most of the shots are night shot, the film still manages to provide the right amount of creepiness as the kids are revealed in subltle but visually jarring ways. At moments you feel like you are watching a zombie film or a surreal Asian ghost tale. This is due to not overextending the appearances of the actors and letting the nights shadows provide the intensity to match the story. Plague Town is downright maniacally twisted with a tip of the hat to the classics. A winner of a film from Dark Skys Films.

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