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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rabies (2010) Review

From what I've heard, this was Israel's first ever horror movie. Since it had a hot Israeli girl on the cover, I decided to rent it from Netflix. Now that I've seen it, it wasn't exactly a horror movie, but it's the closest they've come I suppose. And the chick really was a hottie, but more on her later.
The description mentions Rabies is not your familiar killer in the woods affair. It isn't and at times it's not clear what's really happening. Part of that is because it introduces a lot of characters that don't all have that much screen time, but their storylines are always there waiting. Relationships are also hinted at without ever being completely explained, which I liked. The tension builds up amazingly as characters progress toward their brutal demises. The stakes actually get higher and higher as things go along, becoming a little unbelievable at times, but never lacking in entertainment. The performances are solid, the cast is attractive and all the tension and raising of stakes causes the movie to never stop hitting you from left field. The movie's bizarre sense of humor that spikes in the most uncomfortable scenes is another one of its saving graces. I'd argue the odd comedy is actually what makes this movie memorable at the end of the day.
There's very little written on the low-budget film. I did some searching around the interwebs and came up pretty short on English-language coverage. Which lead me to the mistake of reading an article on the movie from The Jerusalem Post. I guess it's as pointless as arguing with your deaf, manic and half-blind grandfather, but I wish to combat some points.
1) They say it's unintentionally funny.
Me: No.
2) They don't like that the villain disappears halfway through the movie because it's not what horror movies are supposed to do.
Me: That's the point. And who is the real villain?
3) They say some characters need to be likable.
Me: Since when? And there are likable characters! I was always anticipating getting back to the scenes with the strong-willed Jewish lesbian that kept getting herself in deeper. And yes she was smokin' too.
4) They don't like that nobody gets rabies.
Me: Don't you have an article to write about how Iran is responsible for all the cancer in the world? And for rabies?
So it does meander around a lot, but what it meanders with is relatively enjoyable because there's a frightening surprise lurking around every corner. I love its depictions of cops as incompetent and demented. Nicely done.
3 out of 5.
Remember that smokin' hot girl mentioned? Ania Bukstein. She has been in several Israeli movies. I'm renting "The Secrets" next. Apparently she's kinda lezzy in that one too. What would I do without you Netflix?

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