Writer: Michelle MacLaren (Screenplay)
Starring: Jeremy Sisto, Fred Durst, Charlotte Sullivan, Peter Outerbridge
Plot: A census-taker (Sisto) is sent to investigate why a certain small town has had the same population — 436 residents — for the last 100 years.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Interesting Mystery Thriller
Story: Population 436 starts as we see a desperate race to a hospital for a mother to be only for her car to be involved in an accident, luckily the baby is rescued. We got on to meet Steve Kady (Sisto) who has been looking for Rockwell Falls, upon arriving he damages his car before Deputy Bobby Caine (Durst) brings him back to town once he discovers that Steve is from the census department.
The town’s people welcome Steve with open arms giving him a roof over his head with the beautiful Courtney Lovett (Sullivan) as we see the town preparing for an annual festival. Steve is investigating why the town has had the same population 436 for nearly 100 years.
As Steve spends more time in the town he starts to find himself wondering what is going on in the town when strange action and words come from their mouths of the locals as well as getting in the middle of the relationship between Courtney and Bobby. Steve also discovers there is a mystery fever going around the town that puts the escape from the town an impossible task.
Population 436 brings us into a cult like environment as we follow one man who enters into the world of this one town and its belief that they are being guarded by God. We get to see how everything comes off welcoming and this tries to put Steve at ease but we get a lot of foreshadowing through this film. This does keep us guessing and after that one moment of shock really is the only part of the film that reaches true horror levels.
Jeremy Sisto: Steve Kady works for the census department who is sent to Rockwell Falls to take up on why the town has had the same population for almost a century. Once in the town he starts to find himself known by everyone in the town but ends up finding out not everything is what it seems. Jeremy is solid in this role but like most of the film is slightly lacklustre.
Fred Durst: Deputy Bobby Caine is the man that brings Steve to the town, he has grown up in the town and with Courtney who he one days wants to ask to marry him. He comes off as the friend of Steve through his time there but that will change in time. Fred is solid in this role which is good early steps into acting career
Charlotte Sullivan: Courtney Lovett is the beautiful lady in the town, she has a desire to leave the town but keeps it hidden from the community. She sees Steve as her way out but how much is she willing to risk. Charlotte is good but I feel we could have seen a lot more from her.
Peter Outerbridge: Deputy Christian Hecker is the partner of Bobby who is against Steve from first sight, he comes off very shady through the film. Peter is basic in this supporting role but we don’t see his character enough.
Support Cast: Population 436 has a very basic supporting cast that really doesn’t stand out as anything special.
Director Review: Michelle MacLaren – Michelle does a good job directing without make the real shock moments needed.
Horror: Population 436 has one brilliant horror scene without using the idea the film has enough.
Mystery: Population 436 does keep us wondering on where everything is going on.
Thriller: Population 436 has a small sense of tension throughout the film.
Settings: Population 436 keeps nearly all the setting are in this small town with very little place to escape.
Special Effects: Population 436 has very basic effects with how certain moments.
Suggestion: Population 436 is one for the horror fans to try out. (Try It)
Best Part: Festival.
Worst Part: Not enough shock.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
Tagline: The residents of Rockwell Falls are dying for you to visit.
Overall: Solid little horror film that really has good moments but not enough.