Plague, The

Not your typical slasher flick

Main Cast: James Van Der Beek, Ivana Milicevic, Brad Hunt, Brittany Scobie

Director: Hal Masonberg

Plot Summary: The world’s children are put in a comatose state by an unknown condition, and ten years later wake up — and are not happy.

the plagueThere are two types of horror films: those that are cheesy, with one-dimensional characters and full of blood, and the other, more serious offerings that focus more on mood and character than on violence. I would put The Plague in the latter category, although I’m tempted to say that this is more drama than horror, because while it does have scenes of action and blood, it focuses on character development and plot more than anything else.

Produced by Clive Barker, the movie begins with a normal day for a father and his son. The kid, however, goes into convulsions and the father brings him to the hospital. There we are shown a very disturbing but well-played scene: dozens of kids going into shock and a coma simultaneously. This shows us that something very strange is going on.

Fast-forward ten years. A young man named Tom (Van Der Beek) is released from prison. He comes home and stays with the father shown in the first reel, now taking care of his 18-year old son, still in a coma. Tom meets up with his ex, Jean (Milicevic) who doesn’t want anything to do with him. Her brother Sam (Hunt) is also cautious of the ex-con.

Now that the main characters are introduced we head to the action. The kids wake up and begin a killing spree, silent and menacing. They are linked telepathically and what one learns, all know. No reason is given for their rage, but clues are liberally sprinkled. And while the plot is no more or less silly than any horror flick (with zombies coming to life, and/or people going amok), the characters react appropriately.

Despite the action, this is a slow film. It does not have any real “jump” moments, although there are a few scenes where a zombie/kid appears over the shoulder of a main character who is looking the other way. In those moments you want to yell “Look out!” and, sometimes, I do. It never helps, though.

I kind of liked this one, although there is a “message” buried here somewhere. I don’t mind that, but just be prepared for a thoughtful drama, rather than a cheesy bloodbath.

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