Rabid (2019)

Director: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Writer: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, John Serge
Remake of: Rabid (1977)
Cast: Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Ted Atherton, Hanneke Talbot, Stephen Huszar, Mackenzie Gray, Stephen McHattie, C.M. Punk
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2019

Quiet, mousy Rose (Laura Vadervoort) works in the fashion industry as an assistant who dreams of becoming a designer. But when she is disfigured in an accident, her entire life takes a turn. She agrees to participate in a new treatment and the results are astonishing, giving her model looks. Rose would be very happy – if there wasn’t a side-effect for the treatment that she could not see coming.

Rabid is a solid film with good performances, but also a couple of lengths and a weird obsession with “purity”. Overall, it was pretty okay, but didn’t quite get all the way to good.

The film poster showing Rose (Laura Vandervoort), her face covered in bandages,

Rabid is a remake of a Cronenberg film that I haven’t seen yet. While I can therefore make no direct comparisons, I did find that the film doesn’t feel like a Cronenberg film at all – and that’s always a good thing, when the remakes become their own thing. Although the body horror elements were very Cronenbergian, so it’s not a complete reinvention.

In any case, the film was a late night showing and I almost surprised myself by not falling asleep – it was tense and exciting enough to keep me interested, despite the fact that there are definitely some lengths around the middle that feel even longer because it’s very clear where things are headed and you just kinda wish the film would get to it already (although I did not see the very last reveal coming).

Rose (Laura Vandervoort) looking distraught.

I’m not a huge fan of films that harp on about the dangers of humanity maybe not being entirely human anymore. On the one hand, what is a “pure human” anyway and aren’t we long past that moment already where humanity is any way, shape or form “pure”? And on the other hand, can we please get over the entire “purity” concept in the first place? There is always a hint of fascism to that. Hybridism is where it’s at!

Altogether the film was very decent: competently made and with good acting, it has some really good moments. But it would have needed more of that to really rise above average for me.

An operating room with the staff all wearing blood-red scrubs and veils.

Summarizing: fine.

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