A group of kids on a road trip stop by Madison County, a small town full of weirdo, possibly psychotic dirty looking hicks, in order to interview a local author on his book he wrote based on a real serial killer called DAMIEN EWELL, a pig mask wearing maniac that supposedly still haunts the town & was never caught for his murders. While there, they kids find the author is no longer living there & what’s worse, Damien is well aware that the kids are in town & plans to add them to his long list of victims. MADISON COUNTY is perhaps one of the more disappointing horror films to come out in many a year. The film’s box art (at least the one I saw it under) claims it was the “Unrated” cut, I refuse to believe that there are two versions of MADISON COUNTY out there, since there is barely anything in the supposed “Unrated” cut that would barely make it the 18A rating it got, there is some light nudity, barely any gore to speak of & hardly any foul language or heavy physical violence that would make it be “Unrated” so what does the cut version contain? the scenes where the kids are talking while driving to the location & the nice conversations they have with the sweet old lady at the diner only? If anything the word “Unrated” no longer means anything in the horror genre anymore, it’s just something that is written on any horror movie box art by studio heads looking to sell more copies. Director ERIC ENGLAND obviously has used either different user names or has hired some cast & crew members to write some positive reviews for the film since many of the positive notes this film has gotten comes from film reviews with only one film review credit to their name. None of this is surprising since in all my years of writing reviews for this site, I have come across many crappy horror films given positive reviews by supposed “film critics” who have never done a film review before or since, save for the ones they are boasting about. It’s nothing more than a shameless attempt by the cast & crew of these bad films, to do to try & get people to see it. Director ERIC ENGLAND’s direction is pedestrian at best. The acting passive for what it is. NICK PRINCIPE plays the psychopath, that is somewhat less messy with his kills than the other psycho character he played in LAID TO REST 1 & 2. He does good, but we never once see his face, since he never takes his mask off & that’s just the thing, beside the lame almost kills the villain has supposedly had his face badly cut up & scarred, yet we never see it! & why hire a familiar B movie name to play a killer if you never intend to show his face in the first place? The film-makers never make mention on the box art that Principe even did LAID TO REST 1 & 2, much less give him any top billing, & it makes one wonder why they bothered paying his fee when they could have just hired anyone & saved their money for something else that would have helped make their film better. Despite the fact that it only runs 83 minutes, director England obviously didn’t have much material to make a feature length movie with, simply because much of the films opening half is sheer padding, featuring endless scenes of the kids talking while travelling, sitting around the authors abandon house porch, walking around the woods talking, talking at the diner etc. it got boring after a while & when the kills were set to happen, one would hope that England would at least make the wait well worth it, but no such luck. The characters are bland, the suspense woefully lacking & the film pulls off an almost Texas Chainsaw Massacre like plot twist. With England overloading the cliché’s as he goes along, like how many times do we have to go through the dirty, gun & knife toting, bad toothed, beer swilling, possibly psychotic sweaty hick stereotypes? (PLOT SPOILER BELOW!)
The film-makers fail to answer any questions, we the audience may have like, what became of the last surviving hero & the badly wounded, abducted daughter of the author, who was kidnapped by the psycho? After the killer kills the author in the back of the pick-up truck they are driving, they knock the psycho out with a shovel & drop him to the side of the road & take off, never to be heard from again, so where did the couple go? another thing is, the towns folk helps the killer in his abduction of his victims, but the film never does tell us why? The ending with the old lady at the diner who stabs & kills the last heroine who goes to her for help, is nothing more than a set up for a sequel & even at that the whole sequence feels unfinished.