Horror Dna Logo Header 03
Horror Dna Logo Header Right

The 8th Plague Movie Review

Written by Daniel Benson

Released by Anthem DVD


Directed by Franklin Guerrero Jr.
Written by Eric Williford, Franklin Guerrero Jr. and J. Michael Whalen
2006, 90 minutes, Unrated

Starring:
DJ Perry as Mason
Leslie Ann Valenza as Launa
Terry Jernigan as Buck
Charles Edwin Powell as Curtis
Nitin Adsul as Kadulva
Hollis Zemany as Crystal
Jonathan Rockett as Gavin
Laura Chaves as Nikki
Paul Bugelski as Stiver
Syn DeVil as Deanne
Bryant Sullivan as Possessed Man
Elizabeth Buchanan as Katy

The 8th Plague 01 The 8th Plague 02

The 8th Plague 03 The 8th Plague 04

Movie:

A young woman, Launa (Leslie Ann Valenza), is investigating the disappearance of her sister, Nikki, last seen on a camping trip in Halcyon Springs. The local Sheriff is unconvinced that a “drunken college student”, who hasn’t been seen in three days, is truly “missing” and is reluctant to help.

Taking matters into her own hands, Launa enlists the help of the Sheriff’s deputy and an embittered former prison guard from Halcyon Ridge Correctional Institute, the last known location of Nikki.

But Halcyon Ridge holds a dark and powerful secret inside its crumbling walls. An ancient evil lies dormant and is waiting to be unleashed by unsuspecting trespassers.

Launa realises the dreadful truth about what happened to her sister and, with her companions, must battle the demonic forces that try to claim their souls in every corner of the prison.

The 8th Plague 05 The 8th Plague 06

The 8th Plague 07 The 8th Plague 08

Review:

When I first stumbled across the website for The 8th Plague, I was pretty impressed by the trailer. All too often the trailer is the most entertaining part of an indie movie’s life cycle, cobbling together all the best parts and masking the suspect acting, dodgy sets and cheap looking digital cinematography. In the case of The 8th Plague, the finished product delivers just what the trailer offers.

And then some.

First the downside; there’s not a huge amount of originality in the story. OK, maybe that’s a little unfair. The story is standard ‘group of people go off to find a missing person and bad things happen’ horror fodder. However, that’s not a problem when there’s a great movie wrapped around a solid, if straightforward, narrative.

Where The 8th Plague stands apart from most independent movies is, well, practically everywhere else. It was shot on digital video, but has been processed to a look that is very close to film and has a wonderfully grimy colour palette that matches the atmosphere of the deserted prison set perfectly. And how the filmmakers landed on their feet with the location. Using a real prison in Virginia as the set for Halcyon Ridge means that the entire production is elevated to an extremely masterly level.

The cast are incredibly strong in their roles; Leslie Ann Valenza, as Launa, is the tenacious female lead and depicts the determined woman trying to find her lost sister with aplomb. Not to be confused with the cookie-cutter horror movie woman who starts out weak and ends up the hero, this cat is tough from the outset and not to be messed with. It’s no wonder she ends up as the true survivor of her ordeal.

Facing off against Valenza is DJ Perry as Mason, the former Halcyon Ridge guard who knows the prison like the back of his hand. Both leads play very well off each other, and eventually their characters come to a grudging mutual respect. Even the peripheral characters in the movie are brought to life by competent actors, so you never find yourself thinking “(s)he must be related to the director to suck so bad and still get a part in the movie”.

The 8th Plague will satisfy horror fans with its lavish amounts of gore. When demonic forces possess your friends, you’ll use any weapon possible to defend yourself, and Mason and Launa do just that. The camera is unflinching in its portrayal of the carnage. I can only let you imagine what kind of horrors you’ll experience when the Legend of the Demons says “The Devil can’t take your soul if you have no eyes”.

I spend a lot of time reviewing indie movies and it’s always a pleasure when I discover a pinnacle of the genre like this one. The 8th Plague is a lesson in proficient filmmaking with a fantastic cast and enough gore to satiate the most jaded horror fanatic. It is easily my favourite indie movie of 2006.

The 8th Plague 09 The 8th Plague 10

The 8th Plague 11 The 8th Plague 12

Video, Audio and Special Features:

Not rated, as this was a DVD screener only.

The 8th Plague 13 The 8th Plague 14

Grades:

Movie: Fivestars The 8th Plague Amazon Us
Buy Amazon Us

The 8th Plague 15 The 8th Plague 16

Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the Horror DNA Review Forum.

About The Author
Dj Pic
UK Editor / Webmaster
Fuelled mostly by coffee and a pathological desire to rid the world of bad grammar, Daniel has found his calling by picking holes in other people's work. In the rare instances he's not editing, he's usually breaking things in the site's back end.
Recent Articles

Podcast

Funny Book Splatter 01

Funny Book Splatter 095: Ryan King

on 25 May 2019 in Podcast

James speaks with the writer of Cricketsong, currently on Kickstarter.

Read More
226
Funny Book Splatter 01

Funny Book Splatter 094: Rich Douek

on 04 April 2019 in Podcast

James chats with the writer of Road of Bones, coming in May from IDW Publishing.

Read More
552
Funny Book Splatter 01

Funny Book Splatter 093: Joey Weiser

on 07 March 2019 in Podcast

James chats with the creator of the all-ages graphic novel, Ghost Hog.

Read More
365
Funny Book Splatter 01

Funny Book Splatter 092: Magdalene Visaggio

on 08 February 2019 in Podcast

James speaks to the writer of Morning in America, coming soon from Oni Press.

Read More
320

Contests

Lost In Space Dvd Large

Win Lost in Space The Complete First Season on DVD

on 18 July 2019 in Contests

Win Season 1 of the sci-fi series on DVD

Read More
126
Mermaid Lake Of The Dead Dvd Large

Win The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead on DVD

on 18 July 2019 in Contests

Win a copy of the aquatic horror on DVD

Read More
123
Hole In The Ground Blu Ray Large

Win The Hole in the Ground on Blu-ray

on 05 July 2019 in Contests

Win a copy of the Irish chiller on Blu-ray

Read More
1787
Halloween 2018 Poster

Win a Blu-ray of Halloween (2018)

on 04 July 2019 in Contests

We have a copy of the latest installement in the Halloween franchise to give away to one lucky winner.

Read More
2471

Music & TV

Into The Dark S01 E10 Culture Shock Large

Into the Dark - Season 1, Episode 10: "Culture Shock"

on 05 July 2019 in TV Shows

The American Dream. Redefined. Are you ready for it?

Read More
289
The Crow Ost Large

The Crow: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

on 19 May 2019 in Music

Twenty-five years later, what once worked as a cult movie soundtrack now serves as a document of ‘90s alt-rock culture.

Read More
296
Into The Dark S01 E08 All That We Destroy Large

Into the Dark - Season 1, Episode 8: "All That We Destroy"

on 09 May 2019 in TV Shows

Sometimes mother doesn't really know best.

Read More
895
Folklore S01 Large

Folklore - Season 1, Episode 6: "Mongdal"

on 12 April 2019 in TV Shows

Folklore unfortunately goes out with a whimper.

Read More
477
Folklore S01 Large

Folklore - Season 1, Episode 5: "Toyol"

on 17 March 2019 in TV Shows

Episode 5 of Folklore, "Toyol," is about the angry ghost of a baby, proving once again that children are just the ...

Read More
499
Suspiria Limited Edition Unreleased Material Thom Yorke Large

Suspiria (2018): Unreleased Material

on 10 March 2019 in Music

The companion piece to Thom Yorke’s accomplished Suspiria soundtrack is unfinished and unnecessary.

Read More
414
­

Join Us!

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...