Plasterhead Review

Poster Art Country : USA
Year: 2007
Genre: Slasher/Horror
Format: DVD
Running Time: 94 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures

Every township has its dirty little secret, and for any souls passing through Rolling Glen in West Viriginia, you're on your own....

Written and Directed by Kevin Higgins. Starring Kathryn Merry, Josh Macuga, Ernest Dancy, Raine Brown, Gerard Adimanto, Brandon Slagle and Steph Van Slack.

Unlike a lot of recent teen horror movies, you can't accuse Plasterhead of being too self-aware for its own good. Instead, this West Virginia-set slasher flick hearkens back to the days before Scream, when psycho killers could hunt down nubile adolescents without having to be ironic about it. Save for the relatively tame gore and lack of nudity, Plasterhead is the kind of quickie horror picture that probably would have been a modest hit in the early '80s. It has almost no exposition, bare-bones characterizations, and what little story there is rarely intrudes on all the running, hiding, screaming and killing.

The premise is at once both very straightforward and completely nonsensical. Headed to Miami to celebrate winter break, a group of four college students from New Jersey take a detour into the bowels of rural West Virginia. There, the unwitting friends uncover a grotesque legend that stains the fabric of Rolling Glen, a sleepy backwoods town and the legend of Ray Williams, a black truck driver from Maine, on his way to Texas to make a delivery, brutally beaten by a band of locals after stopping off in town for a drink, his body left for dead in an empty cornfield and never found. Soon, the four friends find themselves holed up in an abandoned farmhouse, mired in a macabre web of terror.

The pleasure of horror movies like Plasterhead lies in their simplicity; there are no elaborate plot twists or convoluted backstories to keep track of, just the cheap thrills that come with watching an armed maniac off some annoying teenagers. Yet for all of its retro charm, the movie is ultimately too routine to recommend. The best slasher movies attempt to offer at least a few inventive moments, but first time director Kevin Higgins displays little interest in putting his imagination to work. Plasterhead goes through the motions professionally enough, but there's no spark to the proceedings. Maybe now that a backstory has been told, a Plasterhead 2 should work a little better. There's also the thorny question of whether it's even possible to enjoy a horror movie set in West Virginia after just recently seeing the greatness that is Wrong Turn 2.

Still, watching Plasterhead it's hard to shake the feeling that we've seen scarier stories on the evening news within the past month....and none of them involved African-American boogeymen....unless you have been following OJ Simpson.


Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com

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