April 29, 2012
After months of anticipation, I finally located a copy of the film Madison County. If you're unfamiliar with the movie, let me direct your attention here. That's a link to a write up by fellow Madison County Record-er Matt Shelnutt on the validity of the filmmaker's claim the movie is based on true events. I'll quickly sum up the plot for you and then we'll get to how well that's executed.
Madison County is a horror movie. In it, five college students travel to the "town" of Madison County to interview the author of a book about a serial killer who once lived in the area. I've been excited about seeing this movie. I really enjoy a good scary movie, I enjoy low-budget independent films and this one was "based on true events" from Madison County. If you took the time to click the link above, you know that "loosely based" would better describe the "true events" on which this film is based.
In reality, there appears to be no reality to this movie whatsoever. I understand when a filmmaker claims a movie is based on true events, there is probably going to be quite a bit of embellishment. However, I think the only true thing in the film Madison County is the metal sign the actors pass on the way into "town" that reads "Madison County." I think that actually was one of our signs. I'm not sure of the road it was on, but it looked pretty real.
It was pretty cool catching the little references to the area and seeing some of the scenery that was clearly filmed here in our neck of the woods. Toward the beginning of the film, the students are told to turn on Pettigrew Road and there was a diner called the Oark Cafe (Johnson County, but still). All that being said, this movie was pretty much your run-of-the-mill horror flick. I don't think it necessarily made the people of our area look bad...unless the actors were local (also it's never mentioned what state the town is in). The story itself isn't overly intriguing, there are no twists or turns in the plot, the acting is a BIT better than in a lot of B grade horror movies, but the ending is fairly mundane and predictable.
Because I could not find a copy of Madison County to rent, I was prepared to purchase it in order to watch it. I wouldn't suggest that though. I was able to find a rentable copy at a Redbox machine, and I used a coupon code for a free rental I received from Redbox. That means I was able to watch the film for free. That fact made me feel better when the final credits rolled. If you have 82 minutes to kill, it may be worth your time to watch the film. The production value is actually pretty impressive for an independent, and you might even recognize some of the areas where the crew filmed. Don't expect to be blown away though. I only found a couple of good reviews online for Madison County, and I found quite a few reviews.
So, we didn't get a great horror movie based on (set in) our area - but it is a movie that was filmed (at least a small part of it) in Madison County, so there is that. Watch at your own risk. FYI, that last sentence is far scarier than this entire movie. Also, I'll probably still buy the DVD. I'm a sucker for a "good" horror flick.