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Rabid (2019) Review

Posted in Horror Blog, Horror Festivals, Women in Horror Recognition Month with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2019 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

**Warning: Contains Some Spoilers**

Laura Vandervoort (Smallville) stars as Rose, an underappreciated fashion designer who becomes the victim of a dreadful accident in the Soska Sisters (American Mary-2012) inventive reimagining of David Cronenberg’s cult classic, Rabid (1977). After becoming horrifically scarred and finding her career hanging from a thread, Rose decides to seek the assistance of a private surgeon, Dr. William Burroughs (Ted Atherton) and undergoes radical stem cell surgery. Despite him restoring her outer image back to normal with Rose gaining new-found confidence, this is where her nightmare truly begins…

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While unfamiliar with Cronenberg’s original, Rabid (2019) feels unique to the Soska’s flair for stylish visuals, sharp dialogue, their ability to write strong female characters and their love for the horror genre. Nothing is held back as the film presents outstanding grizzly FX, not for the faint of heart. When Rose’s facial trauma is initially revealed it’s gasp-worthily gruesome anchored by Vandervoort’s tremendous performance as the poor, unassuming woman who has experienced an unjustified misfortune. Vandervoort effortlessly allows us to connect and empathize with Rose, showcasing her vulnerability even prior to her life-altering accident as she encounters peer pressure from those around her from her ruthless boss, Gunter (Mackenzie Gray) to her well-meaning but flawed best friend, Chelsea (Hanneke Talbot).

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The gore is ramped up as the film unfolds offering up imaginatively grotesque set-pieces which will instantaneously satisfy horror lovers with a penchant for all things blood and guts. Along with this the film features mezmerizing and surreal imagery and a versatile soundtrack that adds to the overall edgy tone that the film projects. At its core, there is strong and layered storytelling developing throughout as Rose navigates the changes she has undergone while re-adapting to her environment and the toxic people around her.

The Soska Sisters boldly confront damaging attitudes towards women and body image head-on. With themes of body horror, this is the ideal platform to explore issues that plague women within the entertainment industry through a genre lens. By setting Rabid with the fashion world as a backdrop, it allows an opportunity to highlight harmful viewpoints on weight and food which effectively transcends into a horror context. For example, in the beginning, Rose is seen tucking into a bland salad but as the film progresses she finds herself with a lust for blood, depicting the notion of food discipline resulting in her gauging and metaphorically relapsing.

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Rabid incorporates several layers to it, its body horror fused with tropes from the zombie sub-genre, with an ever-advancing virus outbreak, a snowball effect resulting from Rose’s surgery. Rabid plays on the classic trope where one incident can spark off a deadly chain of events concluding in sheer mayhem and bloodshed. At the same time, it is an engaging character-driven story allowing the audience to truly care about what’s happening to the protagonist, as the plot is carefully built-up in stages, taking its time to develop rather than going straight for the jugular. The ending is absolutely startling and will remain with the audience long after the credits roll.

 

Rabid is another genre cinematic accomplishment for the Soska’s. They have incorporated a few subtle nods to American Mary which simply callsback to their most iconic film without coming across as overblown or shoehorned in.  There are some brilliant cameos which will delight fans, including Tristan Risk, Lynn Lowry, Stephen McHattie and the Twisted Twins themselves. All thats left now is to eagerly anticipate the next project from these two, innovative directors who know how to deliver dynamic and captivating horror.

The film premiered at Frightfest back in August 2019 but you can now take a bite out of Rabid as its available on  Blu-Ray courtesy of 101 Films.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

Twitter: WelshDemoness 

 

Video Review: House (1985) Arrow Video Box Set

Posted in Horror Blog with tags , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Innermost fears are set to manifest in part one of Hayley’s Horror Reviews look at House (1985) from Arrow Video’s brand new blu-ray restoration.

https://youtu.be/i3cR1591xbs

Hayley House

It’s Coming…

Posted in Halloween Month with tags , , , on September 28, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

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Halloween Month 2014 on Hayley’s Horror Reviews

A Complete Month of  the Movies You Should Be Watching Over This Spooky Season!

Starting October 1st! 

Visit Here for previous Halloween Season Reviews from 2011-2013.

Second Anniversary and a little update from me!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 24, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Hi everyone!

I’m doing this early this year so I have plenty of time to prepare and research for my second anniversary review on May 18th!

Last year I wrote a countdown on what I considered my top horror movies of all time focusing on some classic and mainstream horror films that shaped me into the fan I am today!

I’m interested in doing something similar this year in the top 10 format, so please feel free to comment and suggest ideas of what you’d like to see me discuss!

Also, I apologize for the lack of activity on my blog, reviews have been put on hold for the time being until I finish my university course on May 20th (approx!) my dissertation focusing on the representation of female identity in US teen shows is coming along nicely as well as my script which at the moment is under the working title of ‘Love Sick’. I am missing reviewing greatly and I still intend on supporting independent filmmakers so please don’t hesitate to send me your films and I will provide as much exposure as possible.

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Don’t forget to ‘like’ my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HayleysMovieAndTvReviews?ref=hl

Email me on hayley_roberts1989@hotmail.co.uk

and follow me on twitter @hayleyr1989.

Thank you for all the continued support!

Hayley.

Blog: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/