The Millennium Bug Movie Review
Written and directed by Kenneth Cran
2011, 88 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on December 18th, 2012
John Charles Meyer as Billa Crawford
Jessica Simons as Joany Haskin
Ginger Pullman as Pearlene Crawford
Christine Haeberman as Clarissa Haskin
This movie could have been scary. The bones were there for a truly frightening experience; preying on our fear of abduction and violation. But The Millennium Bug goes quickly astray with trite dialogue and shallow direction.
The story opens with a family heading to the mountains for a camping trip; they plan to ring in the year 2000 around the fire. As soon as they countdown the year and get into their sleeping bags, a group of inbred hillbillies abduct the father, daughter, and stepmother. Turns out they need fresh genes for their dwindling pool; the last few babies born to the brothers and their lone sister have been too deformed to survive.
Then a giant spider breaks out of the ground.
Made in 2011, there’s no real excuse for the effects to be this terrible. The backdrops appear painted and the sets are as realistic as a plastic carousel horse. All the acting is equally campy, so I have to assume direction lead the players towards silliness over sincerity. John Charles Meyer, who plays hillbilly ringleader Billa Crawford, is the least cringe-worthy. He’s comfortable going to a dark place with his work; he’s got a courage that will suit him well landing better characters and making them his own in the future.
It feels like writer/director Kenneth Cran was afraid, ironically, to scare us. He writes thin veneers of characters that have little soul and most of the actors struggle to find something to work with in the script. The moments when things could get really uncomfortable and frightening, such as when Billa weds and attempts to consummate his relationship with the teenage abductee, the story veers off to a goofy impotence joke. Rubber masks and cheap nylon wigs only amp up the fakeness of the whole production. The end result of this mess is a product Hallmark would make if it was in the horror business.
I only hope that when the Hollywood Horror Reboot Machine gets around to this film it winds up in the hands of someone not afraid to make it the nightmare it could be.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.