review by Bobby Blakey
For years directors Jen and Sylvia Soska aka The Twisted Twins have been churning out horror and action like only they can with films like American Mary, See No Evil 2 and their TV series Hellevator. I have not only been a fan for years, I also had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing them years ago at Texas Frightmare and have been eagerly awaiting their next project. I was excited to see their new film would be a remake of the 1977 horror classic Rabid this time starring Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Phil Brooks (C.M. Punk), Ted Atherton, Hanneke Talbot, Mackenzie Gray, Stephen Mchattie, Aj Mendez, Kevin Hanchard, and Greg Bryk. Could they once again bring something unique and horrifying like only they can or will it be an unwelcome makeover?
Rabid follows Rose, a quiet, demure and unassuming woman in her looks and actions. Her dream is to become a famous designer in the fashion world, but a terrible accident leaves Rose scarred beyond recognition. She seeks out a radical untested stem cell treatment. The treatment is nothing short of a miracle and wallflower Rose turns into the belle of the ball. It all seems too good to be true. She is now everything she wanted to be. But everything in life comes at a price and this new found perfect life is no exception. I have to admit that I have never see the original Rabid all the way through, but am well aware of the film and its story. Going in I was interested to see what direction these talented filmmakers were going to take their vision and was not disappointed.
The film doesn’t waste a lot of time with the build-up, just giving you the necessary information and character intros before getting right to the meat of it all. I loved that they took the slow build approach to it all while still making sure to keep it interesting and intense when things go off. The story is changed up a bit from the original taking it into the fashion industry that offers up the perfect locale since so much of it deals with the ideals of beauty and vanity. Vandervoort is perfectly cast here and carries the load well to bring all the torture, torment and pain needed to infuse with this initially
timid character. As her story progresses she looks and feels more confident while still fighting to keep back the horrific nature that is taking over.
The direction her experience takes is engaging throughout and allowing the chaos to be erupting around her makes for a more interesting film than it might have been otherwise. These two intertwining stories smash together in a blood soaked fury offering up some of the best gore effects and fun than I have seen in some time. I was a bit worried how I was going to feel when it was said and done when the tone shifted with her transformation, but found it to add that next level it needed and one that gave me the satisfying ending I hopes for.
Jen and Sylvia have such great and unique visions with all their films and I applaud their ongoing choices and hope this film gets the love it deserves. Looking forward to seeing what they have coming up next, but until then you can check out Rabid availble now on Blu-ray and DVD from Scream Factory.