You know how you run across those rental movies you've never heard of and sometimes get a pleasant surprise?
I enjoyed Population 436, which I'd place in the small-town-where-something-is-a-little-off genre. I supposed it's also a bit of a metaphor for conformity and imposition of values.
I think I enjoyed it most because it reminded me of the now-ancient ABC movies of the week such as the delightfully frightening Crowhaven Farm and the more modestly chilling Dr. Cook's Garden, from an Ira Levin stage play.
I don't know if we really have census takers anymore but P436 stars Jeremy Sisto as civil servant for the bureau assigned to check out the small town of Rockwell Falls, population you guessed it.
The population has remained constant for just about forever in fact.
Sisto as Steve Kady enjoys some of the local pie and color and over about 45 minutes begins to peel away secret layers. Along the way he also befriends a surprisingly atypical small town deputy, a milquetoast against type Fred Durst (!?).
The plot advances to satisfying intensity with expected but appropriate twists and an alternate ending in the special features that basically lets you choose happy vs. sad outcome.
Maybe it's a wait for cable depending on your free time, but overall not a terrible 90 minutes.