This movie, set in the years
right after the Civil War, starts off with a mysterious man being dragged
into the middle of a field in a wooden coffin. After whoever had
dragged him there leaves he breaks out of the box, only to discover
he is shoeless and in the middle of nowhere. After wandering for
a while he manages to find a couple of men working on a fence.
Strangely enough as soon as they realize he isnít wearing any shoes
they refuse to help him and leave quickly. He gets the same reaction
until he meets up with a stranger that is passing thru the town who
offers to help him. The two of them travel together for a while
until the helpful stranger shows his true colors and tries to rob him
at gunpoint. It is here that the horseman makes his appearance.
The horseman is a large figure dressed all in black that first kills
the man that was helping our shoeless friend, who we find out is named
Adam, then proceeds to chase Adam thru the woods. After catching
him and cutting on him for a while he leaves. Adam wakes up the
next day bloodied but alive. It is here the more of the plot is
revealed. This isnít the first time that the locals have found
a shoeless man in the woods near their town. They are always brought
by the horseman and kept alive for three days while he tortures them.
The horseman also is in the habit of killing anyone who tries to help
them. This is why everyone is rather unwilling to give Adam any
assistance. The story also throws in an unstable and violent sheriff,
a young missionary woman, a crazed man and his sickly son, a strange
little girl that can see the future, and a grave digging elderly gentleman.
Eventually Adam must own up to what he did to get the attention of the
horseman and face his judgment.
As you can probably tell from
my plot synopsis above this is a very complicated and confusing movie.
While watching the movie I went from being very interested to very bored
as more and more characters were introduced while the plot moved along
at a glacial pace. But in spite of being slow at points this is
a movie that is really worth sticking with. The ending manages
to bring what appear at times to be unrelated and unnecessary characters
together nicely. Plus it manages to explain enough to satisfy
the audience while at the same time leaving some things hanging.
Additionally the cast in this movie is perfect. Each actor plays
his or her character to perfection. Some of the characters are
over the top, while others are very subdued. This is a credit
to actors as well as the director. The movie also looks great.
Iím fairly certain that the movie was shot on digital equipment, but
the fact that Iím not positive of that should tell you how well the
camera work was handled. Additionally the night scenes, of which
there are many, are very well light. Without these scenes looking
so good the movie would lose much of its atmosphere. Overall just
a great effort by cast and crew.
Now the movie does have some
issues and flaws. First of all in spite of bringing all of the
characters and plot threads together nicely the movie is really too
slow in the middle. The film had a 95-minute runtime and could
of maybe afforded to have 10-15 minutes trimmed. This really wouldnít
of hurt the plot and could have helped the pacing immensely. Also
the effects in the movie are okay but not great. There are a few
scenes with a knife and an axe that could have been much bloodier then
Sugar Creek is a really interesting
movie. It is part ghost story, part slasher, part revenge, and
part western. Most films that Iíve seen that try and combine
that many genres fall flat on their face. Sugar Creek manages
to pull this off with some competence. I had the movie at a solid
2 or 2 Ĺ stars but the ending really surprised me in how well it fit
the movie together. Because of that satisfying feeling Iím going
to really recommend that everyone check this one out.