Madison County

Madison County

On DVD: 
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Running Time: 
82 minutes

The best thing about Madison County is that it is a low budget horror film that understands its own limitations. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Madison County opens with a half naked girl in the back of a pickup truck. When the truck stops, she gets out and starts running away. The man driving gets out and chases her down, hitting her with a shovel. A pretty standard opening that sets the proper tone for the film. There isn't much surprising here in the way of plot, although sometimes the details are interesting enough to be notable. A movie like this would normally involve a bunch of kids heading out to drink and party and then get killed by a local monster legend. Madison County has the monster, but here the kids are coming to town so that one of them can do an interview with a guy who claims to have information about a serial killer that the town keeps quiet, and then go camping or something.

Anyway, the guy they want to interview appears to be missing, and when they go looking for him they run into a man wearing a pig mask who tries to kill them. The pig mask wearing lunatic is the local serial killer, and all the locals pretend like he doesn't exist and that no murders ever happened. And then the kids start dying. There are a few nifty details in the story that make it almost worth watching, but largely it's standard horror film material that isn't surprising at all.

One of the things I did actually enjoy about the movie is what I said right at the start, it knows its limitations. Too often low budget horror films end up looking terrible because they don't have the money to have good look effects, or the knowledge and experience to do good effects on the cheap. The people making Madison County, however, kept the effects they couldn't do off camera. If you can do convincing blood spatter but not a convincing bleeding gash, you just frame the scene properly, get the right angle on the action, and you avoid having to show the effects you aren't good at doing. The film makers even say these decisions were on purpose in the interviews and commentary that are included on the DVD.

Watching Madison County wasn't a complete waste of time, but having seen it onces I don't know if I'd ever bother to watch it again.

Review by Jason Pace
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