Title: Small Town Folk

Also known as:

Year: 2007

Genre: Independent / Horror / Comedy

Language: English

Runtime: 90 min

Director: Peter Stanley-Ward

Writer: Natalie Conway, Chris R. Wright, more

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478265/

The small town of Grockleton isn't on any maps, and there is a reason for it - no one should set foot in town. A loving couple stumble upon an old man and a dwarf on his back, and they warn them of this town, but they are feeling adventurous and decide to go anyway.

Our thoughts:
What originally drew me to this movie was that it starred Dan Palmer, a guy I enjoyed in the highly entertaining horror comedy/parody "Freak Out" and somewhat in his own webseries "MugBop" (if you've watched that show and never once said "MugBop!" in your life then you're a better person than me). But the thing that really made me curious was the style that I saw in the trailer and that's the reason why I still remembered the title now, a few years later, when I was looking around for cheap horror. The extreme use of greenscreens for nearly every background seemed bold but appealing if done right.

Essentially "Small Town Folk" is a hillbilly/inbred horror. It takes place in a small town called Grockleton, a town that isn't even marked on maps. In this town we have two families (I think) - one family that are your typical inbred fair, with shitty clothes, shitty teeth and speech impediments. The other "family" are lead by a blacksmith, and they wear masks and use deadly weapons. Outside of town we also have two weirdos that we never really get acquainted with, and that's an old man and a dwarf on his back (played by the wonderful Warwick Davis). These two are the first people that our lead couple stumbles upon, and they're warned to stay away from Grockleton. Or rather, they are told not to follow the light, which the man in the relationship decides to do anyway because he's open to an adventure. And that brings them right to Grockleton, and they have to fight off the two families.

I didn't expect this to be a great movie, especially not storywise, but I did expect it to be fun. There's nothing new to find in the movie, it's all pretty much exactly what it should be. If that's good or not is up to you, personally it left me rather uninterested and uninvested in the movie. It did offer a few chuckles, and I think the acting more often than not works well - I would've loved to see more of Warwick Davis in the movie, though. The focus really is on the characters overall, and I think the slight "Mad Max"-ian style of the killers and their steampunk transportation was a nice touch. It's just not funny, violent or unique enough.

The one thing that really let me down was the style because it didn't bring anything to the movie. At all. When it was on screen it stole the focus from the rest of the movie, and most of the greenscreen work looked terrible. The green was shining off of the characters, things were poorly blurred. The worst thing that can happen in a movie that wants to be stylistic is when it distracts you. It makes me wonder why they even decided to do this, was it because they wanted it to look this way or was it something financial behind the decision? Beats me.

So when the style doesn't work, what does it have left? Other than the occasional jokes and the characters (that are fairly well-acted) it doesn't have much. Some brief splatter that looks alright, and that's about it. I wasn't very happy with the movie as it's just nothing special, and the things that you were excited about come off as cheap (the style). Had they just scratched the greenscreening, and focused on being fun, albeit wacko, then I'd be nicer to the movie.

Positive things:
- The cliché characters worked.
- Warwick Davis.
- At least they were trying to do something different with an old concept.
Negative things:
- It might not be downright bad, but it's rather uninspiring and boring.
- Not violent enough.
- There is comedy but never something you laugh at.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 2/5

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