Review: The Plague

Posted by Peter Hall - September 20th 2006 @ 6:47 pm

Directed by Hal Masonberg, 2006

First out of the gate from the newly launched, Clive Barker founded Midnight Picture Show production house is the The Plague, staring James Van Der Beek (hint).  And if this is what passes Midnight Picture Show’s quality control, then they need to close up shop right now.

Every child on earth below the age of 9 suddenly enters a decade long coma before simultaneously regaining ‘consciousness’ and becoming violent en mass.  A nod for trying to come up with a slightly promising concept, even if its execution leaves you more than a little empty and only caring to find out things the script never addresses, such as how massive the health care costs of keeping nearly a billion children on life support for a decade would be, how much it would cripple the world’s economy, or what kind of stupid inspired the film’s ludicrous ending.

Predictability is perhaps the film’s biggest fault.  Everything is familiar.  James Van Der Beek returns home after a lengthy imprisonment to his estranged father and comatose little brother.  His ex-love is surprised to see him, but he falls right back in step with her brother, who is the most typical of small town residents.

Aside from some semi-cool shots in the begining of warehoused children siezuring in complete unison, the movie contains nothing that could even be considered stimulating – even when it’s ripping off shots from exponentially better films.  The ‘original’ score often sounds like someone banging epleptically on a piano that desperately needs tuning.

The gore, and by that I mean karo syrup, is placid and almost pointless considering there is zero investment in character, plot or atmosphere.  Children lunging can be scary, but the Plague merely features amateurs lumbering on cue towards unresponsive actors.

However, I will give James Van Der Beek a free pass, because he does his best to not be Dawson – even if I couldn’t help but constantly say, "I don’t want your life," throughout the whole thing.

No reason to see it.  Not even an edited run on Sci-Fi when you’re clawing your eyes out from having nothing else to watch.


comments are closed
  1. Dave Feinman
    September 25th, 2006 | 6:23 pm | #1

    This movie was taken from Hal Masonberg, the director, by producers (the same genius who produced ‘Broken Arrow’ and told John Woo he didn’t ‘know action’) and re-cut from the first to the last frame. Conceived and initially executed with a slower, more suspenseful pace, it was simultaneously sold by producers as a teen gore-fest, thus disappointing everyone.

    There is a director’s cut out there, and it is well worth seeing.

  2. September 25th, 2006 | 6:37 pm | #2

    Really? That I’d actually like to see.

  3. June 29th, 2007 | 11:52 pm | #3

    Well, you can help get this film released by going to, reading about what happened to this film and signing the petition to convince Screen Gems to release it.

  4. pingback

    […] as rainbow insurance.  I’m told by Hal Masonberg, who still has a Clive Barker involved film languishing in producer intervention hell, the move was a spiteful one done by the suits at Lionsgate solely to […]

  5. pingback

    […] proximity to one another.  The first was the Writer’s/Director’s cut of THE PLAGUE (review).  The second was David Mamet’s sapient book on the Hollywood system, BAMBI VS. […]

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