Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Deadly Miscommunication

Directors: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado
Writers: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado
Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Danny Geva, Ania Bukstein
2010 | Israel | Not Rated | 90 mins

Rabies (Kalevet) is Israel's first horror slasher film. Late to the game, but ready to tackle the genre, the film promises to put fear and fright into cinematic form through the eyes of a culture we have never witnessed this form of storytelling from. Like the infection the title suggests good things and praise are spreading like mad about the film, so does Rabies in fact live up to its bite?

After running off into a deserted nature reserve because of their shameful love, a brother (Henry David) and sister fall victim to a psychotic killer. The sister becomes trapped and the brother manages to escape and runs off to find help. Meanwhile, a couple of teens on their way to a tennis match get lost driving through the nature reserve when they come across the bloodied brother who asks them for their help. The women stay behind while the men run off to see if what has been told to them is indeed true. Now every action will not go unpunished as the teens, a couple of cops, and a ranger and his dog all become intertwined in a deadly game neither of them know they are playing.

Rabies is an impressive debut. Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado pile on the twists and turns that not even the most jaded of horror fans will have seen coming. As the story progresses and the mystery seems to unfold the carpet is pulled out from underneath the audience multiple times to multiplying effect. Intricately scripted, darkly humorous, and refreshingly original, Rabies packs a wallop of a punch. The cinematography is beautiful and frantic, the music tense, and the characters are superbly written, each with their own ugly side that adds gritty realism as well as a lot of substance to the story.

Rabies is a roller coaster ride of a slasher film that does not take you on the same old course of previous films in the horror sub-genre. Each turn is expertly placed and each loop as thrilling and deceiving as the last. For a first attempt this may well be a new emergence of talent and one of the more reinvigorating surprises genre film has seen in a while. Violent, dark, and seriously twisted this is a film that will have the horror community raving. Don't miss Rabies, it's contagiously good and a gem worth seeking out.

All contents copyright 2011 Tyler Baptist

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