It’s been a while since I have watched a Syfy original movie. Don’t misunderstand, I have watched some low budget sci-fi/horror movies, but as for an actual Syfy original movie, it’s been over three months since I watched one, when I reviewed Monsterwolf. Syfy original movies were always a fun way to spend a Saturday night at home and since I signed up for Sling TV, I am able to do this again. But for now, it’s time to get on with today’s movie, Ogre.
The plot: In 1859, the small town of Ellensford, PA is suffering through a serious plague, where many people are dying and the townsfolk are forced to quarantine others outside of town. When the town magistrate dies from the plague, several of the townsfolk wish to elect Henry Bartlett, the town magi, the new leader as he has offered a way to stop the sickness. When Henry’s daughter Hope shows signs of the disease, the town agrees to let Henry cast his spell, even though he warns that there will be consequences. Henry casts the spell and then says that once a year, a man must be shackled in the center of town and left as an offering to the ogre, as a way to keep the townsfolk free from the disease. In the present day, Terry has convinced his friends Mike, Jessica, and Leah to come camping with him in search of Ellensford, which is said to be a town lost in time. As they are looking for the town, Terry trips over a line of rocks and breaks his ankle so Mike and Jessica go on ahead to look for help while Leah stays with Terry and tries to get camp set up. As Mike and Jessica make their way through the woods, the come across signs that they have reached a town and pause when they hear some bells ringing but continue on. Meanwhile, Leah is working on trying to get the tents set up when she notices a door in the woods and Terry asks her to help him over to it. When he gets there, Terry sees a pentagram burned into the wood and decides to open it but when he does, he is grabbed by the ogre and killed The ogre tosses one of Terry’s legs to Leah, who tries to run away but the ogre chases her down and kills her too. Meanwhile, Mike and Jessica reach Ellensford and witness a strange ceremony, where Henry uses his stick to randomly select someone for the next sacrifice but the person chosen turns out to be Hope’s boyfriend Stephen. Mike and Jessica try to leave but they are caught by some of the townspeople and Henry has them imprisoned then sends the men out to find Terry and Leah. As they are sitting in the jail, they speak with Stephen, who tells them that he is to be sacrificed the next day to the ogre for the sake of the town. Elsewhere, Hope speaks with Franklin, the town doctor, about their situation and says that the life they are living is a farce as they can not age, or have kids, but they are killed off one by one by the ogre until there will be no one left but Franklin says there is little that they can do. Franklin goes to see Henry to find out what he intends to do with Mike and Jessica and when Henry admits that he plans to sacrifice them to spare two of their villagers for a time, Franklin asks when it will all end. Meanwhile Hope goes to see Stephen and then heads back to her house and grabs her father’s spell book and learns that he had caused the plague to serve his own needs to gain power. Henry uses his magic to move the mark from Stephen’s hand to Mike’s and has him locked to the sacrificial post for the ogre. As the town goes to hide in their homes, Hope sneaks out and frees Stephen and Jessica and the rescue Mike. Hope leads them to the town border and tells Mike and Jessica to run, as they have no part in their town’s pact, but when the ogre attacks them, Stephen helps Jessica across the stone line but ends up disappearing afterwards. The next morning, the townsfolk realize that there wasn’t a sacrifice and wonder where Henry is but Franklin calls for the villagers to meet in the town hall. Franklin tries to convince the townsfolk that they need to stop the sacrifices and act now but several of the villagers feel they need to find Henry and choose a new sacrifice. Meanwhile, Henry finds Hope in the woods and Hope tells him that she read his spell book. Henry admits that he cast the spell on the former magister so that he could get power but the spell got out of his control and infected more people and Hope leaves him in the woods. Hope returns to the town hall and tells the townsfolk to listen to Franklin but Giles and Lawrence, two of Henry’s more devout followers, decide to go looking for Henry. In the woods, Henry encounters the ogre and tries top hold it at bay but the ogre ends up killing him, as well as Giles and Lawrence. Meanwhile, Mike and Jessica manage to make it to town and go to the Sheriff’s station to try and explain what happened but realizing that the Sheriff doesn’t believe them, Mike steals his keys and they head back to town in the Sheriff’s car. When they get the car stuck in the mud, they continue on foot and encounter the ogre but Mike is able to chase it off when he shoots it with a shotgun. Back in Ellensford, Hope has the people pour salt around their houses and light a candle then chant an incantation that will keep them free from harm and it works as the only people that are killed are a family whose candle goes out. The next day, Mike and Jessica return to town and the help make a plan to kill the ogre, with Hope trying to cast a spell which will kill the creature. Mike acts as bait to lure the ogre into a trap and when the ogre manages to break free and start attacking the people, Hope’s spell isn’t ready so Mike and Jessica lure the creature to the line. When the get there, Mike and Jessica continue to distract the creature long enough for Hope to arrive and use her magic to force the creature across the stone line. The creature dissolves in a flash and as Franklin and some of the others arrive, they realize that it is over and they all disappear as well. Mike and Jessica wonder what is going on and Hope explains that their time is over and thanks them for helping them before she too disappears, and Mike and Jessica head out of the woods.
This was actually one of the more well done Syfy original movies I have seen in a while. The acting was pretty good for the most part, with John Schneider (Henry), Ryan Kennedy (Mike), and Chelan Simmons (Hope) all giving good performances but Katharine Isabelle (Jessica) was kind of annoying. The story was interesting and parts of it reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, only this had more of a supernatural aspect than his movie. While they don’t really explain everything in the movie, I did like how the people basically disappeared when the spell was broken, as they had been somewhat frozen in time and their lives would have ended over a century ago. The special effects were pretty decent and I really liked the ogre design, as they did a good job of making it big but not necessarily a giant that dwarfs the people fighting it. A pretty decent movie that is worth a watch if you are in the mind for something different.
Rating: 3 out of 5