Movie Review: ‘RUPTURE’ bursts with style, has too few scares


Kip Mooney // Film Critic

Rated R, 102 minutes.
Director: Steven Shainberg
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis, Kerry Bishé and Peter Stormare

A movie about fear should be a lot scarier than RUPTURE, which has style on its side, but only goes through the motions on providing something spine-tingling.

Swedish actress Noomi Rapace – whose career in English-speaking films ranges from “not bad” to “massive disappointment” – plays Renee, a single mom who’s abducted and forced into a series of disturbing experiments.

These experiments are designed to force humans into another evolutionary stage where they’re free of fear, but most subjects die along the way. Of course, Renee tries to escape, and does so rather easily, but spends much of the movie crawling around air ducts and hiding in cabinets as she tries to figure a way out of this facility that’s filthy yet wired with high-tech gadgets.

Most of the twists can be seen a mile away, and any time something genuinely creepy happens, it’s undercut by piss-poor CGI. Spiders and snakes are inherently terrifying, but when their fangs are clanking together and they look like Sylvester about to pounce on Tweety Bird, and that’s just silly. While the movie is certainly stylish, with the facility’s hallways bathed in orange and magenta hues, it can’t help but be compared unfavorably to BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW, which also featured a woman trying to escape bizarre experimentation.

(L-R) Michael Chiklis as Bald Man and Noomi Rapace as Reneein the sci-fi thriller RUPTURE an AMBI Media Group release. Courtesy of AMBI Media Group.

The film could have still been saved if the acting was any good. But Rapace only sweats and screams the whole time, and doesn’t even attempt an American accent. Michael Chiklis may have been intimidating on THE SHIELD, but he doesn’t even register here, while the rest of the cast intones like the aliens in a bad 1950s sci-fi flick.

Steven Shainberg has made some bold, uncompromising movies in his time, particularly the BDSM comedy SECRETARY and his fictionalized biopic of photographer Diane Arbus in FUR: AN IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF DIANE ARBUS. RUPTURE had loads of potential to be truly frightening, or at least intriguing, but it’s dead on arrival.

Grade: D

AMBI Media Group will release the sci-fi thriller RUPTURE in theaters and On Demand Friday (4/28). The film is currently available exclusively on DirecTV.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.