Haunted Honeymoon

Film Review: The 8th Plague (2006)

SYNOPSIS:

Launa is obsessed with investigating the disappearance of her sister who has not returned from a recent camping trip in the mountain town of Halgyon Springs. The search leads to an abandoned prison where Launa and her friends are exposed to an ancient evil that the stone walls of Halgyon Ridge can no longer hold back.

Relentless terror, gore, and bone-chilling thrills are unleashed on anyone whose soul is exposed to this demonic curse. The 8th Plague Special Edition is an exercise in horror that will challenge anyone to…not look away!

REVIEW:

The 8th Plague is a 2006 horror film starring Leslie Ann Valenza and is directed by Franklin Guerrero Jr. It’s about a woman named Launa (Leslie Ann Valenza) who goes looking for her sister, Nikki (Laura Chaves) when she goes missing.

The movie opens up with Nikki in a building looking around when she encounters a man and something terrible happens. Cut to opening credits. After the credits are done, Nikki’s sister, Launa starts searching for her along with some friends after she’s been missing for a few days. They try to file a missing person’s report, but aren’t allowed to because it hasn’t been five days. One of the cops takes them to a guy named Mason (DJ Perry) who can help them out. They all go out and find Nikki’s camping supplies. So, they keep searching. They end up finding an abandoned prison and they go inside, where trouble ensues.

The movie starts out very confusing. We felt like the director had several different ideas for this film, but couldn’t stick to just one in the beginning. When it finally does stick with a story line, nothing much happens. People get turned into zombies and they say that the only way not to see the evil is to pluck your own eyes out.

The acting in this movie is fine. The actors are doing what they’re told to do. Charles Edwin Powell is fine as Curtis and even though Curtis gives some background info on the prison that they’re going to, his character isn’t very important. They could’ve just given his lines to Mason and it would’ve gone on just fine.

The real star of the movie is the makeup department. The whole plot seems geared towards gore and nothing else. Basically this is a short film expanded well beyond its tolerated welcome into, well not much of anything. There is blood on the floor and the walls. There are people who walk slowly down corridors calling names of other people who you know are already dead and wandering around corridors themselves. So many movies get accused of containing mindless gore, but it takes the collaborative effort of (count them) three writers to truly define the term.

The culprits in question are Eric Wlliford, Franklin Guerrero Jr. and J Michael Whalen. They all take writing credit even though the movie feels like an endless adlib. All three serve as producers. Guerrero and Whalen do cinematography and Guerrero single handedly assumes the duty of director, which should give you an idea of which order they deserve to be slapped. For example, there is a scene where Launa finds a video camera on the floor. Instead of treating the audience like we know how a video camera works, we get a close up of Launa opening the view screen, complete with a shot of the button that says ‘open’. We see her press the ‘rewind’ button and then ‘play’. What are they trying to do here? Create suspense? More likely they’re dragging the running time out using every possible camera angle they had to fill out an unsung running time quota.

And boy does this movie have a bunch of edits. There’s a point where you see a close up of an actress’s eye and the action cuts to a slightly closer close up of the actress’s eye. Hyperactive cutting does not energize your story line. It only conveys the truth that you don’t know what you’re doing as a filmmaker and are trying to cover your inexperience.

It’s not to say that the movie doesn’t have it’s share of creepy moments, mainly in its use of lighting. But the dramatic music is often mistimed and the series of scene changes really don’t hold together. A lot of newer filmmakers have been heavily influenced by music videos, and it works in small doses. What you can’t do is simply expand the format into an hour and a half and have a watchable film. Our advice, you stand to gain nothing from watching this movie. To the filmmakers, chalk this up to experience and try it again.

The 8th Plague (2006)

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