#306 -- Madison County (2011)

Director: Eric England
Rating: 2.5 / 5

When I first saw this, I thought it looked pretty cool. I thought it would be a nice kids-in-the-woods slasher movie, good for some mindless entertainment. Also, there's a Madison County here in Georgia, where I live, so that drew me to it as well. I never had any hopes that it would be mind-blowing, and I was right. It was actually filmed in Arkansas, so I can rest easy knowing that these people weren't shit-talkin' us Georgians. Just southern people in general, I guess. These kind of movies make me wonder if non-southerners are scared of us.

Anyways, the story isn't all that original; it's something we've seen hundreds of times before. A guy decides to go to Madison County to interview the author of a book about some murders that happened there. The legend was that this killer murdered around thirty people; the townsfolk knew about the murders, some even witnessed them, but they never said a word about it. James plans on writing a paper about the book, and he takes some friends along. Once they get there, they meet the creepy locals who don't want any outsiders in there town, and they soon learn that the author knew the killer a little better than they'd thought.

The so-called "twists" were predictable. The characters were also fairly predictable, but it did do some new things that I didn't expect--mainly the fact that the nerdy guy was the only one getting laid. The order in which the kids were killed also felt different to me. If you watch enough movies like this, you can pretty much predict the order they'll die, but this one switched it up on me. All of the characters were likable. There wasn't even that one character that you hate and want dead --there was one that acted like an asshole sometimes, but his reasons were understandable, so I didn't hate him for it--so it was really easy to root for them. I liked the killer here, too. His name was Damien, he had apparently been beaten and tortured by his stepfather as a child (leaving him horribly disfigured, though we never got to see his face), he wore a big pig mask and carried an axe. The pig mask might sound cheesy, but it actually looked pretty neat. It succeeded in being creepy rather than stupid.

I was really enjoying the movie up until the end, because it really didn't have any. There always has to be a main character, and in this case that was James. There was another character with him at the end, but we never learned what happened to them. It cut off before letting us know if they got away or not. I was really disappointed by this, because I felt like the story was incomplete. Sometimes that sort of thing works, but not here. It only left me wanting more. I was also disappointed in the fact that there wasn't all that much gore. The story wasn't deep or profound or all that creepy, so I think it definitely needed more blood. It's not a big problem, definitely not as big as the incomplete ending, but just something I found disappointing.

Overall, though, I thought it was a fairly decent movie with good characters and a creepy killer.

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