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

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.