Despite its intriguing central concept, The Plague is a messy and forgettable horror movie. It’s good for one viewing, mostly because of its creepy atmosphere and that’s it. This comes as a surprise since the producer is none other than Clive Barker. Even the full title of the movie is Clive Barker’s The Plague. However, I think this is just a marketing trick as this one doesn’t feel like a Barker movie. And I’m not just talking about Hellraiser but Candyman and Nightbreed as well.
James Van Der Beek after phenomenal Rules of Attraction was trying to establish himself as a serious actor and gave an excellent performance. Ivana Milicevic was also solid but the rest of the cast seemed disinterested. After all this, you might be wondering why you should check out this movie. Well, firstly, the opening thirty minutes are really strong. The story is original and unfolding at a really frantic pace as things get worse and worse.
And while the rest of the movie is quite wobbly, I’m kind of partial when it comes to creepy kids. They scare the fuck out of me. And you can look at The Plague as sort of a blend of The Omen, The Night of The Living Dead, and The Children of The Corn. I also appreciate the ambitiousness of the project as we’re talking about a global phenomenon. If I have to see another movie with a family trying to cope with their creepy children I’m going to go nuts.
One day all the children in the world that are 9 years and younger fall into a strange come. Doctors and scientists cannot explain this phenomenon nor the tremors that occur periodically (I guess this explains why are they so fit after many years in a vegetative state). At the center of this drama is Tom Russel who returns from prison in his hometown to his brother’s home who is nursing his comatose son. But after ten years after the initial “infection”, things are about to change…
There’s no doubt that The Plague is a heavily flawed movie. And while it might be just too messy and boring for some, it can also be a great learning tool for others. I think that aspiring filmmakers can learn a lot from it, especially when it comes to storytelling. As someone who watches a lot of movies, I like to watch a bad one just to keep me straight. And to make me appreciate more the good ones.
I wish the movie went all-in with the whole supernatural thing and gave these little fuckers more powers. Although, if you pay careful attention you might notice that they are quite strong. Finally, when it comes to the explanation of why the kids are behaving in such a way, think religion is all I’m going to say.
Director: Hal Masonberg
Writers: Hal Masonberg, Teal Minton
Cast: James Van Der Beek, Ivana Milicevic, Brad Hunt, Joshua Close, Dee Wallace