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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scourge (2008) - Horror Demon

Scourge (2008) - In the 1800s in a small town the church and people dealt with a demon that entered into citizens through their belly buttons or some other orifice, like the thing they put in Neo in The Matrix. It then within hours used up there bodies and then moved to the next victim, when I say use up, basically the upset stomach that comes from the demon in your stomach becomes a violent stream of vomiting blood and then your death. So in the 1800s they learned how to capture this critter they called The Scourge and stored it in the floorboards of the community's church. Now in the present a fire at the church has released the creature and it is back out in the world.
Our main character Scott Miller (Nic Rhind) has just served a couple years in prison and is out and checking out his old stomping grounds including exgirlfriend Jesse (Robyn Ledoux). Now this movie seemed really familiar, with The Hidden (1987) first coming to mind, in that it is an alien hiding in humans but totally using them up. Recently there was the supermarket thriller Alien Raiders (2008), I am sure there are others I am forgetting, in this one though we will take the writer at his word and call the alien, a demon. Unfortunately for Scott his current girlfriend Lydia (Marina Pasqua) is screwing around with the newly infected firefighter Josh (Mensah Iruoje) so when the critter uses him up, she gets it. Scott looks like the angry boyfriend and possible murderer, as he follows Lydia around to confront her on her affair , but is a bit too late when she is finished with by the demon. She is transfering the critter to another guy and stupid Scott thinks she is so slutting herself out, she bleeds out and dies in his arms and instead of dealing with it and the police he runs out after having been seen by a couple girls who walk in. So starts the process of him trying to clear his name and at the same time figure out what the fuck is going on. He will need help and that is where an exgirlfriend can come in handy. They obviously still like each other but of course she is the niece of the local sheriff so probably not the smartest person for Scott to team up with.

What is wrong with this film? Well...

1. The filming is static, the camera is placed and the scene is shot and almost never does the focus change or the camera move. It is filmed like a TV show which does not help the need for it to be more action oriented. Looking at Cinematographer Corey Robson imdb entry I see that he has worked a lot in television and it really shows here. Director Jonas Quastel will also have to take some blame for not planning it any differently.
2. The acting is really flat and unappealing, besides veteran Russell Ferrier who plays Sheriff Durst the cast is sooooooo flat in their delivery of every line. It was so bad at one point that when the Skater Girl, Frankie Nash powered out her line, I was just happy some emotion was being expressed. Leads Ledoux and Rhind had no chemistry at all because neither could emit anything through their acting.
3. It does not help when the script by Quastel is so full of holes that the story doesn't at time make sense. So this critter gets out and people start dying but at first there is really no connection to Scott at all. You could not tell by how he reacted, sculking and hiding like he actually did something wrong. Then there are times when the creature in full view of people transfers from one body to the next but still the police are after Scott?
In the end this film failed to pull off the simplest of stories and the outcome you can guess by the little that I have relayed here. There is a minor personal plot point at the end between Sheriff Durst and Scott that is reasonable if too late, I like Ferrier in the role as he was spot on. Deputy Sam (Jason Harder)was also great as the nervous cop who never fired his gun. He kept it controlled enough not to become Barney Fife and really was a plus in a bleak pallet of actors.
Rating (3.1) 5.0 and up are recommended on the Zombiegrrlz scale I say Skip It!

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