Disclaimer: My reviews of media here do not mean that I lay any claim to the media in question. All reviews are entirely subjective. I may talk about how well the movie objectively works in my opinion, but it essentially all comes down to what I think of the movie. My liking a movie is not the same as thinking it's a great movie. If I trash a movie that you love, or love a movie you can’t stand, it’s not because I hate you. Also, all reviews are likely to contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the movies in question and don’t want to know what happens, then you probably shouldn’t be reading about them here. Finally, a blanket trigger warning for people who don't want to read about common horror movie content such as sexism, racism, violence, etc.: I will likely discuss all of the above when they show up in the films I review, so please tread with caution. Check out this post for more on how my reviews are set up.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Horror Movie Review: Scourge (2008)

Overall: D
Acting: C
Writing: D
Story: D
Technical aspects: C
Effects: D

Directed by:
Jonas Quastel

Russell Ferrier
Robyn Ledoux
Nic Rhind

Particular trigger warnings: nothing I can really remember
Passes the Bechdel test: also not that I remember

            This whole thing has a “the worst of Syfy original movie” all over it. But maybe I just have a difficult time taking “Ultimate Evil” seriously when it expresses itself in belches and farts. Also, this is a bit more of a synopsis than a summary, because you should not feel at all compelled to watch this movie, so I feel no guilt in telling you exactly why it sucks.

            So basically the plot is that an ancient evil called “The Scourge” was locked up by priests a long time ago in the foundation of a church. In a fire, said evil is released, and possesses a fireman. We get some gross-out scenes as the young fireman suddenly begins eating everything he can – sticks of butter, cartons of expired milk, mayonnaise, etc. He goes to shower, starts belching and gurgling, and acting somewhat zombie-ish.
            Meanwhile, our main character Jesse (Robyn Ledoux) runs into our other main character Scott (Nic Rhind.) Apparently, the two were friends at once point, but Scott got in trouble with the law and with Jesse’s uncle, the sheriff. He was in prison for a while, but has since gotten out, and he was of course never a bad guy, but had simply taken the fall for someone else, now just wants to move on, etc. Jesse is a bit interested in him, but Scott already has a girlfriend.
            Later, the zombie-ish belching firefighter shows up at Scott’s hockey game and causes some chaos. He ends up wandering into the locker room, where Scott’s girlfriend joins him. Naturally she’s been cheating on Scott with the fireman, and is planning on a quicky in the locker room. (At her boyfriend’s hockey game… obviously.) So the fireman kneels down, and belches up a badly CGI’d evil squid bug thing that invades her bellybutton and possesses her. She goes through the same zombie-changes as the fireman, but presumably because she’s a hot chick there’s less eating and belching.
            She winds up going to a club and passing on the evil infection thing to a new guy in the bathroom. Scott has followed her, and he confronts her just in time to watch her spontaneously hemorrhage and die. Scott is assumed to have killed her, and since the fireman’s body turned up at his hockey match, the sheriff is after him.
            Blah blah, they figure out how to kill it, though I’m not sure why they need to do what they do (it involves electricity and alcohol.) Meanwhile the evil keeps getting passed from person to person, before it eventually gets passed to an obese photographer guy. Jesse sets out to seduce him and bring him back to a motel room where she and Scott can try to get the evil out of him. They attempt this, and it jumps to Scott. And because he’s the hero, he’s immediately aware of this, and rather than making him do unsexy things like belch and ravenously eat, he just tries to kill Jesse.
            A secret order priest type shows up at the end to conquer the evil and save Scott and Jesse, and the obese photographer is taken to the hospital. The priest man explains that they’ve gotten rid of most of the Scourge, but he’s always hunting down any remaining ones.
            Then insert one of those stupid “the end… or is it?” endings, letting us know that the horror isn’t really over!

            What a stupid movie. The acting is average, and is probably what can be complained about least. And don’t get me wrong, because the acting isn’t good. It’s just not as bad as everything else. The story itself isn’t unforgiveably awful, the idea of an ancient evil parasite jumping host to host, but it’s hard to find a way it could be more poorly executed. The most obvious thing wrong is the belching, farting, zombie-hosts. It’s just stupid. It’s consistently stupid. And if this were supposed to be a horror-comedy or a parody of some kind, it’d still be stupid, but understandable. But no, it’s played straight. And it’s clear that the writers realize that it’s stupid, as the hot girl that gets possessed and the hero both are spared the gross/stupid bits of the possession. The effects look awful – it’s bad CGI, and when it’s bad, it’s bad. And a maybe petty complaint when there’s already so much wrong – but the bellybutton is not an orifice! It doesn’t stretch to accommodate something entering the body through it and then return to normal immediately! It’s just… stupid.
            There’s really no serious gore in their violence, minus the girl bleeding out in once scene and the pretty non-explicit electrocuting of the guy in an attempt to draw out the Scourge. There’s only moderate sexuality when a girl showers and the fact that the parasite being passed from mouth to belly button usually is accomplished by implying oral sex is going to happen. It gets an R rating mostly due to language, meaning the younger pre-teen male audience that would probably appreciate the bodily humor couldn’t actually see it. It seems like it would have been better cut to PG or PG-13 and left to cable television and late night timeslots on SyFy, because it certainly didn’t deserve a DVD release.


  1. Thankfully I was lucky enough to get this in a DVD bundle so this was a cannon fodder addition. I think if I had paid good money for this alone, I would have felt cheated.

    The CGI is terrible, Syfy funny though, what really killed the film is a serious lack of pacing which means you have scenes of absolutely dire dialogue to drag it out. It's a shame as the idea isn't terrible, however "Scourge" really is!

  2. good story but the CGI is so bad. The movie need a good remake to make a name.