'Scourge' Review

Scourgeby Michael Sieber, MoreHorror.com

A paint-by-numbers horror movie. A church in a small town burns to the ground and an investigating firefighter is taken over by a parasitic creature that has been buried for over 100-years. This creature can only stay with a host for a short period of time before it needs to seek out a fresh body, and as it jumps from victim to victim, the body count begins to rise. In no time, the town bad boy, Scott, is blamed for the murders and he along with his girlfriend, Jesse, must solve the mystery of the creature and find a way to stop it.

There are movies that grip you in the first ten-minutes and you know that you're in for a ride you won't soon forget. Scourge isn't one of those. In fact, you'll probably start to forget it within ten-minutes of watching it. The problem with this movie isn't the story, which admittedly is fairly derivative of other films, (The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Hidden, etc), rather it's with the execution. I talk a lot in my reviews about WTF moments, and Scourge is basically one WTF moment after another. So if you're someone who likes to yell at the screen when you're watching a movie, better grab yourself some lozenges because you're going to need 'em.

By far the biggest issue I had was that the main characters know things, or assume things, that they shouldn't know. For example, near the beginning of the movie after several people have died from the creature, Jesse says something to the effect like, “It can't be a virus because the whole town would have been infected by now.” Wait, how do you know that? How long does a virus take to infect a town of a thousand people or more?

I don't know much about viruses but I suspect it takes a little more than several hours to take over an entire population. Then there's a scene at the burned out church when Jesse and Scott are trying to trace back the events to where the first person would have been attacked by the parasite. Jesse points to a small hole in the floor, and says, “We have to go down there.” Why? Why would you think there's something in the basement to see? Is it because the script told you to go?

They go and find an ancient parchment that was attached to a glass container that previously held the Scourge captive. Yes, of course that survived the fire and the thousands of gallons of water, and of course it gave you the vital clues you needed to further your investigation.

Then there's the issue of the creature itself. It needs a new host every 6-hours or so, but it's never explained why. What does it do? It burrows into someone, hangs out for awhile, and then burrows into someone else leaving the previous victim dead. Also, it enters people through the belly button, but the victims, even after watching this happen, never go to a hospital or even act like they've just seen a monster drill its way into their stomach. And then after seeing that the Scourge has to get in through your belly button, you'll think back to the first victim, the firefighter, who was wearing his heavy gear when the creature got him. Oops.

There's also a subplot that's seems like it was shoehorned in at the end about special investigators from the church (I'm assuming the Catholic Church) who have been searching for the creature since the 1800s. I could go on, but Scourge is a paint-by-numbers horror film that comes out looking like mud. While the production values are fairly high, the stilted acting and sloppy writing make Scourge a forgettable affair.

Not recommended.


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