Jeremy Sisto and Limp Bizkit lead singer Fred Durst star in this thrilling story about a U.S. census taker who is assigned to assess the population in a remote mountain community. The census taker becomes trapped in this p... more »rison-like town full of 'golden rules' (that no one ever breaks) that doesn't allow its population to drop below or exceed exactly 436 citizens, a number in accordance with 'God's Law.' He eventually learns that NO ONE is ever allowed to leave Rockwell Falls and that the town citizens will do whatever it takes to maintain the status quo. After fending off a lobotomy and pretending to go along with the program, the U.S. census taker eventually tries to escape. Will the population finally be altered, or will the story of Rockwell Falls live on? Director/producer of TV's long-running science fiction thriller X-Files, Michelle MacLaren directs this film. The people of Rockwell Falls refer to their town of perfect balance as 'the most perfect place on Earth' - where numbers rule the universe, everybody's watching, divine order is law and God punishes those that are lacking in faith in order to save the people from themselves.« less
"Twilight Zone"-ish story of a small Midwestern town whose population has mysteriously stayed at the exact same # - you guessed it, 436 -- for seemingly forever. The census bureau, naturally, finds this odd so they send a man there to find out what's going on. What he finds is kinda like a less gory, slower-moving, grown-up version of "Children of the Corn." It wasn't great, but I've seen worse.
The most terrifying part of it for me was seeing Fred (Limp Bizkit) Durst trying to act -- he plays a prominent role as a sheriff's deputy!
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 8/18/2010...
Horrible beyond belief. A slow moving and boring film that has no point. Fred Durst proves that rap stars shouldn't act with his wooden performance.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kat D. (KatlynAva) Reviewed on 3/30/2010...
Fred Durst is in this, need I say more?
Welcome to Rockwell Falls, population 436...forever
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 12/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"An employee of the census bureau leaves the high rises of Chicago for a routine trip of head counting. Steve Kady (played by Jeremy Sisto) nears isolated mountain town of Rockwell Falls when he encounters two flat tires, courteous of a couple gigantic holes in the soft gravel road. Mr. Kady gets help from Rockwell Falls Deputy Bobby Caine (played by Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst) who reluctantly grants Steve's wishes to enter the town and complete his job.
Steve soon realizes that things are very strange here. People keep mentioning a "fever", he's treated from the get go as though he lives there, and he discovers something else; the population in the town has stayed at exactly the same number for the last century! As Steve delves into the reasons behind the strange occurrences, he is met more and more with shady answers, silent actions and above all else, a strange vision the town portrays, as "gods will" that seems more of a man made cult than a regular Sunday morning in church. As Steve encounters the doctor in town, he soon comes upon a patient who may hold the key of what exactly is going on. The problem is, the population has to stay at 436, and after a Festival thrown by the town, and he realizes just what that means.
Crazy religion, true isolation, and mad doctors giving lobotomies are just some of the many things Steve Kady encounters as he suddenly realizes it is not meant for him to leave. Suddenly deemed to have the "Fever", Steve must now use his wits to somehow outsmart and overpower the towns will upon him before its too late...before he is trapped there, forever.
Population 436 mixes a little bit of Alfred Hitchcock with a whole lotta Twilight Zone. Despite being a low budget film that didn't have a lot of marketing at its release, I think it was very well done for the genre. Fred Durst gets accolades in this film for a great job as Bobby Caine, a man who becomes Steve's friend and deep down portrays that he really may not want to be there forever either. The DVD has an alternate ending that was also very interesting, although the ultimate outcome portrayed in the final scene of both is haunting. Overall a decent film that holds its strength's more within the plot than anything else."
Not bad for a rental...
SBCNIN | Danville, KY USA | 11/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A couple of friends and I rented some movies this past weekend, this being one of them. While I was skeptical at first about renting it, I soon found the movie to be entertaining. I won't bother with an overview of the plot, as others have covered that, but I will say that I found the movie to be well done, with the actors involved turning in solid performances. However, I would recommend renting this movie first before deciding to purchase it."
Numbers rule the universe -- especially if you live in Rockw
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fifty miles past the end of nowhere lies Rockwell Falls, a self-styled perfect town that takes its solidarity, tranquility, and - above all - its equilibrium seriously. On the surface, it's a pleasant little town where everyone seems happy, crime is nonexistent, and you never have to look very far for your next piece of apple pie. It's a weird thing, though; the town's population never seems to change. It took a century for some genius at the Census Bureau to notice this oddity, but the bureaucracy finally decided to send someone out to investigate. Rockwell Falls doesn't cotton to strangers all that well, but the local leaders have little choice but to let Steve Kady (Jeremy Sisto), in to do his official government business. Everyone seems super-friendly to him, but it doesn't take him long to figure out that something is seriously wrong with this town. We the viewers learn early on just how Rockwell Falls keeps its population completely static, but it takes Steve a while to figure things out on his own.
Steve is stymied in his efforts to interview several members of the community; according to the mayor and local doctor, those citizens are currently suffering from "the fever." This fever isn't all that rare, but old Doctor Greaver is almost always successful at curing his patients one way or another. Steve eventually learns all about this fever, as well as the unique religious beliefs that form the basis of the town's peculiar way of life. The more he learns, the clearer it becomes that he is expected to become a permanent resident of Rockwell Falls. It's for his own good, really, as those who do attempt to escape the town are struck down by God himself. Steve doesn't buy that argument for a minute. He's determined to return to civilization as soon as possible, and he doesn't plan on leaving by himself, either. There's an orphan girl being treated for the fever by the good doctor, and a young lady named Courtney (Charlotte Sullivan) who wants out as badly as he does. I have to say I really liked the way this story played out, as the filmmakers chose not to play it safe - perhaps realizing that a formulaic ending would negate the effectiveness and atmosphere of the entire film. I really got a kick out of the final scenes. (The DVD includes an alternate ending, which I have not seen and cannot comment on.)
Population 436 never manages to become truly suspenseful, and it's certainly not scary, but it is surprisingly effective nonetheless. After the first twenty minutes or so, the pacing of the story is quite good, letting the true nature of this local society emerge gradually, and the acting of the entire cast (even Fred Durst) is another feather in the film's cap. As good as the film's basic concept is, this kind of story could easily have degenerated into something really silly, but director Michelle Maxwell MacLaren never allowed that to happen. I'm not saying that everyone out there would enjoy this film, particularly action-oriented horror fans, but I think a lot of individuals will be pleasantly surprised by it - and that includes young teenagers. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this film has an R rating - there are very few violent scenes (and none of them are the least bit gory), the language is quite pedestrian in nature (all of this takes place in a really gung-ho - albeit cult-based - religious community), and the film's one and only sex scene is tamer than many a scene you'll find on network television."
Better than expected
Don Talon | 07/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A guy from the census bereau visits the backwoods town of Rockwell Falls ; upon further investigation he realises that the towns population has remained at 436 for the last century.
Curious, he sets out to find out just how this has remained so for so long,in the process he falls for the village beauty who happens to be the love interest of the local Sheriff deputy and jealousy insues.
The town elders now have a problem...he makes 437 and the standard of 436 must remain.
This film is a definate recommend - it reminds me of The Village and The Wicker man."
Horror Buff | Hickory, NC | 10/30/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I am not a fan of the Wicker Man, and would not compare it with this movie at all thematically. I was, however, struck by a previous poster's comparison to "The Lottery", which I hadn't considered, but does seem to fit.
Rockwell Falls has an unusual method of population control, and a young census bureau employee is about to discover its secret. The journey is really part mystery and part melodrama, with a few supernatural chills thrown in for good measure. The picture does a nice job of setting up the storyline and characters without getting too bogged down in unnecessary side plots. There is little drama associated with the likely outcome of the movie from the outset, but the story is told quite well and the ending is satifying, if not predictable. "