First time director Eric England takes our hands and throws us into the middle of the woods in “Madison County” as we experience a familiar kind of horror that movie-goers still love very much. Audience members go back into familiar territory with “Madison County” where we head into the backwoods of a tiny town in Arkansas that has a lot more going on behind the scenes than the townsfolk let on. We follow our heroes and possible victims who travel with their friend James (Colley Bailey) all the way to the tiny town so he can get an interview with the author of a book revealing the history of an unknown serial killer. Unfortunately for them they end up in this small town and uncover secrets that put their lives in danger.
The setting is a familiar one where we’re thrown back into the woods of some midwest hick-like town. The biggest complaint has to do with some of the dialogue that sounds like it should be uttered by actors more along the high school range. Aside from that, the story is a slow burn, gradually building up the the inevitable carnage that any horror movie of this kind tends to have. The best part is that not everything in the movie gets wrapped up in a neat, bloody little bow.
Most of the times when dealing with this particular kind of horror you end up with a group of actors who go over-the-top and come off as very annoying. Thankfully this isn’t the case but everyone’s performances felt a bit lighter in a way. It’s slightly hard to explain but sometimes you can tell if a good production is being conducted just through actor’s performances which you can see in this. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and the interaction scenes between the group work a lot better because of it.
Although this is Eric England’s directorial debut, which shows to a certain extent, the man still does a good job playing around with different angles that don’t give away too much to the audience and leaves you feeling a tad uncomfortable and claustrophobic in the process. It would have been nicer to have gotten a better look at some of the slaughter that was unfolding in some scenes, but England’s rough-around-the-edges vision clicks just fine with this genre.
Not entirely sure if it was a decision made by the cinematographer or the director but whoever thought that it’d be better to play around with the focus to a fault made a bad move, making it more so a distraction than a nice visual touch to a scene. Going to the gore, it was previously mentioned that we don’t ever get a super clear look at any bloody wounds that are on any of our victims. That being said, it was a tad difficult to determine how great those effects were but they still got the job done. We still
Although plenty of audience members may groan over the familiar kind of setting and situation with “Madison County,” they should still give it a chance. It’s still an enjoyable little horror film that adds more good old fashioned bloody fun to the midwest carnage that we love seeing.