Picture it: you’re on your way to work, going through your regular morning routine when you get a flat tire. A good Samaritan stops to help you, only to wind up kidnapping you with no explanation as you’re bound and gagged. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, several other people that have been kidnapped start to tell you that the people who’ve abducted you are going to start doing things — experimental things — in order to get what they want out of you. Oh, and did we mention that you’re also deathly afraid of spiders? Because that’s important here.
This is the premise of director Steven Shainberg (Secretary, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus)’s 2017 film Rupture. The film was written by Brian Nelson, who was responsible for 30 Days of Night and the searing Hard Candy. The cast is impressive as well, boasting Noomi Rapace (The Drop, Prometheus, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Peter Stormare (American Gods, John Wick: Chapter 2, Fargo), and Michael Chiklis (The Commish, The Shield, Gotham). The pedigree of talent behind this film is more than enough to get a foot in the door, especially for those who greatly dislike anything with an arachnid.
First, the positives. Rapace is fantastic as an arachnophobic single mother struggling to escape mysterious conditions that would leave many of us feeling terrified and powerless. The kidnapping sequence is raw and terrifying; as a woman, the scenario is your worst nightmare: the cold calculation and the swiftness of it. It’s well-done. Stormare is excellent as the controlled head of the mysterious organization that’s kidnapped Rapace’s Renee, as is Lesley Manville (Topsy-Turvey, Secrets and Lies). The setting of this film is dark, dank and unclean-looking, which only adds the feeling of watching someone try to escape a fate that can only involve torture. Shainberg obviously worked closely with the lighting and cinematography departments to capture the feeling of a controlled, scary environment. He succeeds in this aim.
Now, the negatives, which pains me to write, as I desperately wanted to like this film. The largest problem of Rupture stems from the fact that its pacing refuses to go any more than 25 miles per hour on a highway that is designed for fast traffic. Within the first ten minutes, we get some tips of the hat to the Carpenter-esque films of the 1970s and 1980s, which is a nice touch, but definitely not enough to save this film. If the intention was to feel as though the audience is trapped in the room with Renee as she struggles to learn the truth and escape, then the goal’s been met. However, for the rest of us, the audience is left with the feeling that time is passing by at an incredibly slow pace. Adding to this frustration is a fluctuating voice track. At times, the dialogue becomes difficult to hear, leading to a concern that vital information is being missed due to a technical aspect. By the time that we get to Renee battling her fear of spiders — which is not a spoiler, but more so a trigger warning for those of our readers that simply cannot stand the eight-legged wonders — we’re simply too bored to care if she’s scared or not.
The bottom line on Rupture: it has the prime genetic makeup to yield a quality film, but falls victim to slow pacing that ultimately dulls its thrills.
Rupture (2 / 5)
AMBI Media Group will release the sci-fi thriller RUPTURE in theaters and On Demand April 28, 2017. The film is currently available exclusively on DirecTV.