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7.30.2009

Clive Barker's The Plague


This title was released back in 2006, stirring some controversy and debate in horror circles for the circuitous and, according to some, corrupted final product that Sony's Screen Gems ultimately released.
The controversy is well documented here and here.
I have to say that I was taken aback by this film a little when it popped onto Showtime last evening. Just by virtue of its straight-to-DVD status and exile to the outer bands of satellite television, my expectations had been sufficiently tempered; I was happy to find that I liked it.
It's a fight-and-run thriller whose strength lies in the first act and, while the climax was a little flat, it was still an ambitious little number with a few genuinely chilling scenes.
I think, if you get thirty minutes to read the articles about the movie in the links above, you'll see that there's more complexity to this movie than what I saw last night.
You see, I watched the producers' (fourteen of them!) cut, not the director's cut. That's the controversy--the piece making the rounds out there is a far cry from what Hal Masonberg intended.
And let me tell you, I want to see Masonberg's vision. If the framing and staging that I saw in the producers' cut is any indication, the man can build tension. Seriously, the first twenty minutes of the film had me excited.
There are any number of cautionary notes inherent in this tale of conflicted vision on the creative front--not the least of which is the one exemplified by the old adage of too many cooks in the kitchen. Whether it's bad covers on rising novels or disagreements about the extent of blood and gore in horror films, it's a sad reality that, sometimes, the things we want to create aren't always the things that find their way into the world.

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