Racoon Valley is an effective movie that slowly builds in horror as we share the loneliness and isolation of the main character. It has a hopelessness about it but is surprisingly engaging considering very little actually happens. It’s also got an absolutely brilliant score that heightens every scene.
The story has a pretty simple setup. We have a woman played by Terri Czapleski (she has no name) who happens to be deaf. A plane crashes causing her town to be quarantined as it was carrying bio-hazardous material. Everyone but a small number are evacuated before the town is closed off including the woman as she is unaware of what took place.
At first, she just goes about her life as her deafness keeps her pretty alone anyway but slowly, she begins to notice things aren’t right.
This is a gem of a movie, one that really delights in how it plays out. The woman is used to being alone so at first nothing really changes for her but the situation becomes more problematic when horror elements are introduced. I was concerned that we were looking at another zombie movie but Racoon Valley doesn’t go down that route. In fact, we only see a handful of infected townspeople and almost always at a distance. They look terrifying though.
The star of the show is Terri Czapleski though, a virtual unknown who displays strength and determination that makes her so likeable. Even as she begins to understand just what has happened her resolve just hardens. A brilliant performance for a character that we really don’t know much about.
Credit has to be given to writer/director Turner Clay too who has worked wonders on a supposed budget of $175.00. Yes, you read that right. Amazing.
It looks great and doesn’t overstay its welcome either ending in a satisfying way. The final shot put the biggest smile on my face. However, the thing many will take away is just how good the score is. Almost a character in itself.
The Final Score - 8/10