Raccoon Valley by Eric S Brown

Raccoon Valley
Eric S Brown

Raccoon Valley, released in 2018, is far from your normal virus, zombie type film. There are no zombies in the movie though there are poor people who have been infected by a virus that swells up their skin and causes them to bleed from their eyes. Whether or not their minds remind fully intact or are compromised by the infection is mostly left up to the viewer. As thus, Raccoon Valley is much of a dark drama, or psychological thriller, than a horror movie. Its story centers around a deaf woman, who is home alone, and does not hear the evacuation warnings when a plane carrying bio-hazardous material crashes and the town’s water supply becomes contaminated. The plot is a simple survival story made vastly more intense by the handicap of the main character.

The trope of a crashed plane and a virus/zombie outbreak has been around since George Romero’s The Crazies in 1973. Seemingly countless low budget horror films and books have dealt with that circumstance but Raccoon Valley is perhaps the best since The Crazies.

Many critics have called the film a slow burn but I have to disagree. From the second, the main character, a deaf woman whose name the viewer never learns, is left alone, things progress at a fast pace with one chilling event followed by another. Her home is broken into and she is forced to shoot the intruder, who quite possibly could only have been looking for help. She flees to the home of an elderly woman she knows only to find that her friend as killed herself. At that point, the direness of her situation truly begins to hit home. She heads back home and manages to rig up a generator in order to power the TV and see the news. Upon her discovery of what has happened, she sets out to escape the town.

Raccoon Valley is intensely atmospheric and chilling. It is also beautifully shot with amazingly amplifying camera angles and lush scenery. The best part of the film though is the level emotion the encounters during her attempt to flee the valley.

Raccoon Valley by Eric S Brown 1

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