Eye For Film >> Movies >> Rabies (2010) Film Review
Reviewed by: Keith Hennessey Brown
First things first: The English title for this Israeli horror film has absolutely nothing to do with its content. There are no rabid dogs or people on display, at least in the literal sense. What we get instead is a dark comedy/gross out/horror hybrid with a decidedly nightmarish (lack of) logic to it. This gives the film an edge, in that we never know quite what to expect, but also makes it more difficult to identify with or care about any of the characters and what happens to them.
The story begins in a more generic fashion, as a brother and sister encounter a maniac stalker type in the woods. The sister is captured, while the brother escapes and seeks help. He encounters a group of four tennis players – well, they accidentally run him over – who have become lost. Recovering, brother persuades the two guys to go help him find his sister, while the two girls stay with their vehicle and call the cops.
Around about this point, the curveballs really start flying. The cops arrive, the older one being preoccupied by his own relationship issues and younger proving a creep who enjoys the opportunity to grope the girls on the basis of searching them.
At times it seems the bright, overly lit land land is itself inimical to the characters, that anyone who enters the area loses their grip on reality or encounters their own particular reality, a bit like the Zone in Tarkovsky's Stalker. Maybe there is also an Israel-specific subtext to this – in most countries' national parks you probably aren’t going to inadvertently wander into an old minefield, as happens here – but if so it is one that is likely to be lost on international audiences.
Still, at least the filmmakers have tried to do something different.Reviewed on: 24 Jun 2011