REVIEW: The Plague (2016)

The Plague is the second film in the last few days that I’ve watched from indie filmmaker Emir Skalonja, the first being Confessions of a Homicidal Prostitute. While the latter was a dirty, violent look at the life of a murderous hooker, The Plague is less gore and more drama, following the story of a pair of killers-for-hire who team up with another couple to escape a small town in New York after an outbreak.

While the storyline isn’t groundbreaking, the movie is still a great watch. Beautifully shot in an off-color, slightly sepia tone, the actors all play their parts well, with special highlight to Emir’s wife, Nicole Skalonja, one of the lead characters and the stand-out of the bunch.

The best thing about this film, when watching back-to-back with Confessions, was how different it was. For me, it showed off exactly how great of a filmmaker Skalonja really is. Whereas many indie and and even Hollywood filmmakers make, essentially, the same movie multiple times throughout their career, the differences between these two movies, while still fitting nicely into the horror genre, is night and day. That says something not only about Skalonja’s ability as a director, but also as a writer, as he created both of the stories.

Yes, there is some violence in The Plague. It wouldn’t be much of a zombie film without some headshots and entrails being eaten, but much like TVs The Walking Dead, the film is a character study and not a grotesque splatterfest. Although the masses may be getting sick of with zombie overload these days, there is always room for one more when it’s all done right – The Plague definitely fits the bill.

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