Plague Town (Blu-ray / DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Josslyn DeCrosta, Erica Rhodes, David Lombard, Lindsay Goranson, James Warke
Directed by David Gregory
Distributed by Dark Sky Films
We've been looking forward to seeing David Gregory's Plague Town for a while here around the Dread Central offices and it's with a bit of a heavy heart that I say that it comes up short. Yes they had a limited budget and limited resources, but I've seen films with half of what this had going for it pull off some rather impressive stuff. So ... what went wrong? Before we get into that let's start with the story.
During a let's just try to get to know each other and get along type family vacation, our incessantly bickering protagonists find themselves trapped and hunted down in a town whose children are anything but normal. Gregory leaves what's wrong with them and what they need to do to help fix the problem as ambiguous as possible and this works in the movie's favor. In fact as it goes along viewers will be treated to several ingenious kills and some really creepy imagery. That is if they can make it through Plague Town's first act.
There were several times in the beginning of the film that I nearly shut it off. Everything from the acting, to the dialogue, to the editing, to the music is nothing short of painful at times. Yet I stuck with it, and am glad that I did. Once the horror got cooking things started getting good. People were dying in all manner of nasty ways, the gore was flowing, and the atmosphere had become as thick as London fog. This was like witnessing an unexpected 180 degree turn!
Yet intermittently and especially toward the end, the same suckage that dominated the film's opening would rear its ugly head and take you right back out of the transpiring horrific events. That's a real shame too. There are so many promising moments. So many things going on that makes you want to like Plague Town probably more than you should. In the end though this is still a dropped ball.
As for the the DVD and the Blu-ray, they each share identical supplemental features except for one which I'll get to in a second. Both prints of the movie look and sound outstanding but of course the nod goes to the Blu-ray in terms of over-all quality.
The features kick off with a lively commentary by director Gregory and producer Derek Curl which covers every base that it should including the multitude of challenges the crew ran into on set. From there we get two making-of featurettes - one is your standard praise sharing experience and the other focuses on the film's sound design which I must say was pretty incredible. The aforementioned Blu-ray exclusive feature is the inclusion of David Gregory's forty-minute long student film Scathed. All in all, this is a nice little package.
Plague Town misses its intended mark, but not by much. David Gregory has a real eye for filmmaking and it's pretty obvious he shares a true love for our genre as well. Hopefully he can take what he has learned here and use it on future films that will knock us on our asses. There's no denying his talent. We're pulling for ya, buddy!
2 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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