Directed by David Gregory who co-wrote it with John Cregan, Plague Town mixes elements of Children of the Corn, The Hills Have Eyes, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Wickerman and more. The end result has some impressive character visuals and some creepy vibes but lacks decent scares and fleshed out characters.
The story surrounds an American family on a holiday in Ireland. One with very little sense or likability as they end up in the countryside and miss the bus back, getting stranded for the night. Before we get to that, we get a ton of bickering between sisters, Molly (Josslyn DeCrosta) and Jessica (Erica Rhodes). Two of the most unlikable characters in this movie by some stretch. The rest of the family is made up of dad, Jerry (David Lombard) and his fiancé Annette (Lindsay Goranson). Oh and we have Robin (James Warke) who is hooking up with Jessica, although we later find out they literally met a few days ago.
So our group are stranded in the Irish countryside and end up coming under attack by the children of a local town. One where bloodlines are cursed resulting in the kids being deformed and deranged. The few surviving adults are desperate to try and breed the bad blood out and will do anything to protect their town and children.
After a slow start but promising build, Plague Town becomes generic as hell with characters running and screaming from their attackers. It’s stuff we’ve seen a thousand times before and there is nothing new or interesting here added. Other then the look of some of the deformed children, nothing stands out once the blood and guts start to fly. Instead, what most will remember is just how utterly stupid the characters are.
This is one of those films where characters act in such unbelievable ways that it takes you out of the experience altogether. You’ll spend more time remarking how the latest failed attempt to survive could have easily been dealt with or screaming for characters to just fight back. It’s an infuriating watch and undoes all the goodwill the film has initially built up. No fault of the acting, which is solid overall, it’s just poor writing.
Then we have the look of the movie overall. Being in the countryside at night, you have to expect darkness but there is no excuse for such a bland, washed out look. It all culminates in an ending that is shoulder-shrugging in how ineffective it is. Is that it? Thankfully, it is.
The Final Score - 5.5/10