Rabid (2019) Review
By William Pattison
Gore and Scare everyone! It is now my pleasure to once again review a film done by The Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska. The film in question is the remake of David Cronenberg masterpiece Rabid, a very challenging thing to do.
Rabid tells the story of Rose (played excellently by Laura Vandervoort) who is a meek introverted and rather plain aspiring fashion designer who is working under the iron hand of fashion mogul Gunter (played by Mackenzie Gray). Rose’s adopted sister and best friend Chelsea (played by Hanneke Talbot) tries to help Rose get out of her shell by getting her a date with fashion photographer Brad (played by Benjamin Hollingsworth). While at the party Rose goes to the restroom to quell her anxiety caused by being with Brad and being at the party. While sitting in a bathroom stall she hears two shallow model twins (played perfectly by Jen and Sylvia Soska) talking shit about her and laughing about how her sister had to talk Brad into going out with her. This is enough for Rose. Upset she tries to leave riding her scooter. She doesn’t watch where she’s going and gets hit by a car. After she wakes in the hospital to find the lower part of her face disfigured and her intestine damaged so she would never eat normally again. Luckily an experimental surgeon who was obsessed with transhumanism offers Rose a chance to be healed through a unique stem cell procedure. The result is that Rose’s face and body are completely healed, though the doctor has her drinking special nutrient drinks as part of her recovery. Unfortunately, for Rose she doesn’t realize she is the carrier of a new strain of rabies that has a shorter incubation period. Also, she finds she has strange dreams and a hunger for blood. Oh, and not to mention the worm-like appendage with a needle-like point that comes out through her mouth and armpit. Now the city is in danger of being overcome with the new rabies plague and Rose is the cause.
Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for…what I thought about this film. Well, first off obviously this film is nowhere near the masterpiece that the original Rabid is. There just was no way that Jen and Sylvia Soska could outdo Cronenberg. Cronenberg is a horror master and he has far more education, skill, and pure artistic genius than The Twisted Twins could ever muster. But I will say that as a remake and homage to David Cronenberg’s work the Soskas film is not bad. I honestly have to say this the best film they’ve done in the horror genre. This film is solid. The ladies' use of pace, shock, and gore value were matured, unlike their earlier attempts. I was glad they stuck to classic practical makeup FX rather than CGI, like they did in See No Evil 2. Also, as much as the red doctors' gowns and gloves gave me a red light in the trailer, but when I saw it in the context of the film itself it worked excellently and really pushed the fact that the doctor was like a cultist. Also, the ending is royally Cronenberg and kind of reminded me of The Brood.
Since I was first introduced to the twins years ago, when they were promoting their film Dead Hooker in a Trunk, a film I loved, I’ve been royally disappointed in the films they’ve done since. I felt the films for the most point felt shallow and lacking the spark I saw in Dead Hooker. With Rabid I see that the girls have matured as filmmakers and in the case of this film took the time to really craft a film that shows the potential I saw in those fresh film students I knew who were running around in bars showing their first film. This was the work I was waiting to see come from them. I hope they take these words to heart and continue to craft their film rather than just throwing things out quick and not putting the love into the work. That is the lesson you should get from David Cronenberg. He puts everything into his art and never compromises. One little suggestion for Jen and Sylvia…if you could please go back to your roots in a future project. Leave the shallow world of social circles and give the fans a well-crafted grindhouse horror film, like of like your own From Dusk Till Dawn. I’d like to see a bit of grit and humor again. Congratulations on your achievement ladies.
If I was to rate this film from a 1 to 5 rating I would give Rabid a hard 4.