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The Plague Review

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[The Plague]
Plot:Ten years have passed since the world's children have fallen into a coma. Tonight they're waking up and all hell is breaking loose. An un-holy battle between the generations is being waged against all adults, and time is not on their side.

Cast: James Van Der Beek, Ivana Milicevic, Brad Hunt, Joshua Close, Brittany Scobie, Bradley Sawatzky, John P. Connolly, Dee Wallace, Jon Ted Wynne, Arne MacPherson.

My Thoughts:Kind of reminds me of a really thin stick holding up a table.

Review:I'm sure if you're reading this review you're wondering..thin stick? table? What the hell is he talking about? Well metaphorically, when a stick that isn't thick enough is holding up something far too heavy, it tends to hold for awhile, but then eventually it bends, bends some more, and finally breaks completely. That's exactly the way I'd describe Hal Masonberg's "The Plague". "The Plague" does set the tone of the picture really well mixing "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with "Attack of the Pod People". Children across the world fall into a deep coma and remain comatose for 10 years. During this time their bodies grow, and their strength increases, but they remain zombie like. Not speaking, or moving. This odd and frightening event has tossed the world into chaos. People across the world have tried to solve the problem by having more children, but those children are born comatose. Due to the numerous failed attempts to give birth to normal children...the government eventually begins to encourage abortion, and bans child birth which causes unrest, protests, and riots among the masses. No one can figure out what's going on, and after numerous years of experiments and other medical attempts, no one can seem to figure out what's causing this, or how to break it. James Van Der Beek stars in the film as Tom Russell. Tom returns to his smalltown home after a long stint away looking for a place to stay. This is where he learns of his brothers condition, which is similar to all of the kids worldwide. Soon after Tom's arrival, the kids now teenagers begin to awaken, and immediately take up arms against all of the adults in town in massacre-ish fashion. But why? "The Plague" does an excellent job of using the situation it's presented to create tense, and intensely frightening scenes early on in the film. Alot of it is because the scenes are set up really well and alot of the movie plays out in darkened hospitals and streets during the dead of night. The actors who portray the posessed murderous kids also do an excellent and convincing job of making the viewer believe they are as deadly as can get. This movie plays out like "Children of the Corn" in most cases, except the children here are more zombie like and never speak. Whereas in "COTC" they were normal kids just with a violent streak and under the influence of a charasmatic holy roller in Isaac. Problems arise for "The Plague" when it breaks down into a semi-predictable horror film. I think it would've been better if Masonberg had played up the mystery aspect of what exactly is causing these kids to go on a killing spree. Instead, it becomes a situation where the inhabitants of the smalltown find other survivors of the incident and band together and wind up holed up inside a house. No one asks questions, or tries to find out anything about what's happening, and how many times can one sit through a horror movie where smalltown residents barricade themselves inside a house from the evil force or killers on the outside who want them dead? It also doesn't help that the dialogue is very flat and uninteresting and nothing shocking or surprising happens until late in the film when the children take up firearms against the adults which result in a couple of shootouts. Even when Van Der Beek's character asks finally to one of the other characters, what do they think is causing all of this, no one has any answers or interesting theories. You would think in a movie where kids are stalking around town with bloodshot eyes and wasting adults with their bare hand's, that out of 6 or 7 people stuck together in a house someone would be able to dream up some weird yet engaging theory. But no, we get nothing. Although "The Plague" does a great job of creating fear early on, and playing out some heart-string tugging scenes of people having no choice but to kill loved ones, and one guy getting his ankle snapped in half loud enough to make you cringe, overall it's quite a letdown. Masonberg gives it one last go at the end to try and deepen the movie with a mysterious ending which obviously he or atleast I think he felt would leave the viewer with some questions and theories. Instead, the ending is so vague and pointless that one would say why even bother asking who, what, and why? Oh and by the way I'd still like to know exactly the reason why the hell these kids went section 8 and began wacking people! Maybe Masonberg can answer that question in the sequel? If there is one...and frankly I doubt it. If there's one good thing to come out of this movie, it's that Clive Barker only produced it. Which means that he didn't write this bland script which started off wonderful and led to absolutely nowhere. So fully explaining my stick & table analogy, "The Plague" starts off strong, but soon begins to bend, and then finally breaks into a laughably bad viewing experience.

Pros:Good first 20 minutes, nicely played out scares during the hospital scenes early on in the film. Decent acting by Van Der Beek.

Cons:Acts 2 and 3 were pretty bad, very unclear ending, lack of explanation for what's happening and some very weak dialogue.

Overall:Not my idea of a good horror picture at all.





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