Fantasia Film Review: Rupture

There’s always a category of movies that have that WTF factor, sometimes due to an unqualified quirkiness and sometimes due to very strong scenes without explanation.

(Source: Tango Pictures /AMBI Distribution)

(Source: Tango Pictures /AMBI Distribution)

Rupture is one of the latter. Director Steven Shainberg was in attendance as he gave us the world premiere of his unapologetic movie. The genre can get confusing. Thriller/Sci-fi/Horror? You don’t know what’s happening and as soon as the movie really starts you’re on the edge of your seat. It’s not that you’re about to be scared, it’s that you’re already scared about the situation and it escalates from there.

We do get the nice introduction. Renee Morgan (Noomi Rapace) is a single mother living in the suburbs, still dealing with divorce fallout and a son that struggles with math. That’s not the beginning of the movie. She gets kidnapped. That’s when the movie really starts and god help you if you didn’t go to the bathroom when you had a chance.

The tension is high from that moment on. If you’re one of the those movie goers that needs to know what’s really happening, this is your perfect nightmare. The explanations are not coming. Renee is taken somewhere away and locked to a gurney. At some point I dreaded that whatever physical torture was coming up for Renee was going to veer into dark Saw-like territory. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a relief or a deterrent to know that they’re mostly psychological. Even a hopeful conversation through the wall is later framed correctly by one Renee’s captors (Michael Chiklis): did she really heard another prisoner or was that all staged for her to witness?

And perhaps in there lies the film’s biggest weakness. It becomes evident at some point we’re going to get some sort of a reveal. With Renee managing to sneak outside her cell to get a peek at what else is taking place in this prison, are we going to get some sort of payoff for all this setup and quasi-exposition? We are, but not before Renee (and the audience) endure more psychological torture that we can handle.

I could be nice here and play into the movie’s game of whether Reene will experience rupture or the audience will, but as we peel the covers enough to reveal the leader (Peter Stormare) and we learn what’s the deal with all these people, there’s some of a letdown. Yes, we’re given an obvious if bizarre answer to the cultish-like behaviour, but it’s not one that’s entire satisfying. At this point, I almost wished that a twist might reveal (or if anything, make ambiguous) the actual nature of the people moving the strings. In other words, it would’ve been nice if after the reveal, we’d get some clue to make us doubt that anything we saw was true. Then again, that’s been done before. Kudos to a movie that sticks to its premise.

Let’s break it down:

Highs: Tense, edge-of-your-seat, moments that only escalate. Reene is a solid lead. She’s inventive, she’s resourceful and she’s crafty. Extremely tense and scary scenes.

Lows: The payoff is a bit of a letdown. Some scenes might be too strong for some viewers. Careful with the spider nightmare fuel. No huge twists.

Only recommended for fans of WTF and fear factor offerings who don’t mind being tense as hell.

Coming up:

That will do for now.

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