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Review - Rupture

By midlandsmovies, Jan 22 2017 09:23PM

Rupture (2017) Dir. Steven Shainberg

This new film from Steven Shainberg has personal fave Noomi Rapace as a mother who is abducted at random and taken to a secret laboratory to be experimented on for reasons unknown. A set of mystery captors including Michael Chiklis torment and test on her and poor Noomi (as Renee) attempts to escape the clutches of the nefarious group.

Opening with simple scenes of suburban life, there is a weird sense of dread that culminates in a tense and frightening scene where Rapace is drugged and bound in the back of a truck seemingly out of the blue. Before long we are whisked to a facility where she begins to be tortured on a trolley with her deepest darkest fear - which turns out to be a rather unimaginative and common phobia of spiders.

More narrative and story development was needed at this point as 20 minutes in we’re still unsure of the puzzle pieces and the director seems in no rush to start putting these together. The inherent strangeness that is supposed to be intriguing is frankly annoying and is not helped by the tediously slow pace. Rupture director Shainberg was interviewed about the film and said he wanted “To take a character to a place where she doesn’t know what’s happening to her for a really long time, and to see whether or not the audience can be held.”

I can telly you straight away that this low budget film definitely fails on that front. The director has also said he intended to make a film more like The Shining than Saw. Well he certainly hasn’t achieved that either. In fact not even close.

It is far more similar to something like Hostel and these “people enclosed in a room” dramas (Phone Booth, Cube, Buried etc) require a lot of dialogue or exposition to make up for the lack of location and the obvious physical limitations of that structure. This film however doesn’t deliver any clues as to why she is in the situation and when you don’t know the “why” then the terror and torment is meaningless. Torture to transcend can be horrific – see Martyrs – but this is simply a bad X-Files episode at best.

The choice to light the film in an endless red-light which saturates each frame, and is no doubt intended to represent danger, is constantly present and becomes another of the film’s many annoyances. There’s no light or shade just a constant drone of crimson. And so most of Rupture makes little sense and combined with zero tension Rapace’s skills are wasted as she meanders through corridors avoiding who-know-what and oh look, Peter Stomare, shows up as some quirky scientist as he always does. Yawn.

Rapace strapped to a bed asking if she is ill is better done dramatically in Prometheus but Rupture’s biggest weakness is that you simply cannot make a film where everything is unknown – characters, location, motivations, context. All are absent here and therefore makes the first half of the film impenetrable. By the halfway point most of the audience would have tuned out owing to frustration. And when a story twist finally does come out of the blue, it’s laughable and has some truly awful CGI.

A huge waste of talent, I cannot recommend Rupture to anyone as it fails in all the genres it touches upon and in the end, the director’s choice of structure and the movie’s absence of information is less intriguing than it is utterly infuriating.


Midlands Movies Mike

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