Quiz Call: Population 436

Here’s another ‘film with numbers in the title‘ that you’d likely only guess by shouting random numbers down the phone.

Population 436 is a classic Quiz Call answer in that it went straight to DVD, and for very good reason.

Limp.

This Canadian horror-mystery concerns a small American town whose population has remained exactly 436 for over 100 years, until the arrival of (dun dun dunnn) a census taker (Jeremy Sisto). It also features Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit (because they keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ when they should say cut), a love interest (Charlotte Sullivan) whose performance made me assume the character had been lobotomised until she actually was, and every folk horror cliché that Midsommar unironically repeated.

The daft premise is executed with stultifying seriousness and Shyamalanesque dialogue like: “My wife died.” “I bet she was amazing.” “Thank you for listening, you’re a good friend.” “You too.” The first hour follows the surveyor literally going door to door interviewing beige townspeople who’ve taken fashion guidance from The Village and Star Trek: Insurrection, before we learn that God kills anyone in the town who tries to leave. So it’s a good thing it didn’t get a cinematic release because there would be a lot of smiting.

Our survey says Population 436 is a poorly conceived effort overpopulated by acting so bad it could have starred the Quiz Call presenters.

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