Thursday, May 24, 2012
Madison County (2011)
Finally, a modern slasher that's good and doesn't make you want to annihilate every character onscreen within the first 5 min. I love slasher films but loathe a lot of modern ones due to the fact that they adhere way too much to the tried and true tropes and they claim to be unique but really offer nothing different. Enter Madison County, a different type of story with a serious axe to grind (literally). Sure it has its moments where it falls into common stereotypes but it does so with a lot of gusto and some pretty inventive kills.
The first part of this film you've seen a 1,000 times over: a group of attractive twenty somethings head out on the open road for a weekend of camping. Or so they tell a passing motorist. But really one of the boys is a journalism major and has been corresponding with a small town writer who's developing a tell-all book about a local man who's made the town infamous for its grisly murders. He wants to play investigator and interview the writer in-depth and learn more about the notorious past of this small town.
So the kids come upon the town and first come into contact with the locals in a roadside diner. The old woman running the joint claims that she hasn't seen the author in years. Puzzled, our intrepid young man tells the group they'll stay for a bit and check the scene out and see if they can't locate the author themselves. Bad mistake.
There is a bit of a slow build to the film as the gore and grue don't start right away. In fact, our kills don't begin in earnest until about the 3rd act or so. Most of the time is devoted to getting to know the characters and doing an excellent job of building atmosphere and suspense. In fact, can't remember the last time I saw a slasher film that did a great job of building a significant amount of suspense. Indie filmmakers take note.
And then the killing starts. There are nifty kills in this here little slasher ditty with some great practical effects to boot. Surprising kills are hard to come by these days as most you've probably seen before. But these are done and done well. Coupled with the fact that these are some genuinely crazy townspeople that are all in cahoots to keep the kids from leaving and you've got yourself one fantastic modern slasher film which will be in my rotation for years to come.
Madison County is currently available on multiple VOD services. Give this one a go. You'll be glad you did.
Cortez the Killer