Writer: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, John Serge (Screenplay)
Starring: Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Greg Bryk, Stephen McHattie, C.M. Punk, Hanneke Talbot
Plot: What happens when you realize that to achieve your dreams you have to live a nightmare? Rose is a quiet, demure, unassuming woman in her looks and actions. Her dream is to become a famous designer in the fashion world, but a terrible accident leaves Rose scarred beyond recognition. She seeks out a radical untested stem cell treatment. The treatment is nothing short of a miracle and wallflower Rose turns into the belle of the ball. It all seems to good to be true. She is now everything she wanted to be. But everything in life comes at a price and this new found perfect life is no exception.
Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Best Practical Effects in Horror 2019
Story: Rabid starts when we meet shy assistant to a fashion designer Rose (Vandervoort) gets invited to one of the fashion parties, only for her to learn the motivation behind going, running from the party, being involved in a horrific car crash, leaving her jaw wired shut, while her jaw is being rebuilt. Rose is taken in by her foster sister and model Chelsea (Talbot) who is there for her, helping her find solutions including an experimental procedure that could re-construct her face.
The procedure is a completely success, making her even more beautiful than she was before, though it has come with a side effect, visions she can’t control, horrific ones, that seems to be blending reality with nightmares.
Thoughts on Rabid
Characters – Rose is the quiet assistant to a fashion designer, she has her own ideas that she does want to see made, the girls come to her to get small adjustments, but the designer treats her like a carpet. She isn’t seen in the same light as the models and often keeps to herself. She gets involved in an accident which first sees her horribly disfigured and secondly lose her job, desperate to fix this, she turns to an experimental procedure which fixes everything, giving her a new lease for life and a taste for blood. Brad is one of the co-workers that does try to help Rose come out of her shell by inviting her to the party before the accident. Chelsea is the foster sister to Rose that has been working with her too, she is the one that opens up her home after the accident, helping her get back on her feet, supporting her through the treatment, not looking away like most the others in her life would.
Performances – Laura Vandervoort does give us a strong performance throughout, being able to balance the losing her mind and determined personality. Hanneke Talbot is strong too and the supportive friend, that does get to show the pushy personality her character has around Rose. Benjamin Hollingsworth does show us a strong friend or potential love interest in the film, while big names like Stephen McHattie and C.M. Punk make entertaining supporting appearance.
Story – The story here follows a young lady that sees her life turned upside down after an accident leaves her disfigured, only for an experiment procedure bringing out a new version of herself and an unwanted side effect along the way. This is a remake and one story that can remain similar is places, while bringing the social side of the film to new heights, the fashion world does make a wonderful backdrop for the story because it reflects the world that image needs to be fix with surgery. There are certain ways the story does feel weaker, that is mostly seeing how everything is spreading, which is important, but it doesn’t follow Rose, which is the important side of the story.
Horror/Sci-Fi – The horror side of the film comes from the real world situation that Rose goes through, with the accident before hitting the graphic violence of what is happening to Rose, which is also the sci-fi side of the film, the changes Rose goes through.
Settings – The film uses the fashion world as the main settings backdrop, it shows us just how important image is to Rose and the people close to her.
Special Effects – The complete highlight of this film comes from the practical effects, which look as graphic as they can, the injury suffered by Rose is one of the worst wounds you will see in this year’s horror films. We should give a shout out to the team (According to IMDB) Graham Chivers, Jeff Derushie, Anahita Loghmanifar, Emily O’Quinn and Omar Roessler
Final Thoughts – This is a practical effects masterclass in horror, it will use some of the best you will see this year even if the story is a modernised look at a cult classic.
Overall: Bloody graphic horror.