During my viewing of Rupture, a friend of mine was streaming a session of the board game Life on Facebook Live. Despite the fact that said film I was watching contained scenes of body horror, spiders, and deformed aliens, I somehow kept finding myself wondering if my friend had managed to fill up the tiny plastic station wagon with enough multi-colored pegs to start a family.
I found myself engrossed in the tiny plastic cars hopping around checkered, colored piece of cardboard.
I hate board games.
Rupture’s game centers around Renee (Noomi Rapace), a single mom driving out to meet some friends when she gets a flat tire. Just when she notices the flat was caused by a tiny device that wasn’t there before, she’s kidnapped and brought to an underground facility. There, she’s surrounded by mysterious doctors (Michael Chiklis, Kerry Bishé, Peter Stormare) who’ve strapped her down and injected her with some mysterious genetic testing chemical. They subject her and others in the facility to their worst fears to see if some kind of reaction happens. Renee tries to make her escape before she’s subjected to an unknown fate.
A movie with a concept that wants to emphasize claustrophobic fear and body horror should probably go to a director that’s willing to push the envelope and, you know, scare people. Writer/director Steven Shainberg did that once 15 years ago with Secretary, but that movie’s subject matter seems tame compared to something that has its main character strapped down and submitted to having spiders crawl all over her face and there lies the greatest failing with Rupture: it’s incredibly tame. It spends far too much time setting up Renee’s backstory in the early going, does very little in actually testing her (and the audience’s) fears by elevating the horror of her predicament, rushes out its big twist that also falls completely flat, and could not be bothered to be original. It feels like Panic Room, Saw, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Hostel got thrown into a blender with some neon food coloring to make it look like a Nicolas Winding Refn movie but with none of the frights or style. The amount of potential missed in the environment is baffling, with the admittedly creepy setting of the underground facility and the harsh lighting scheme, like a maze from a Hellraiser. If anything, the fact that the movie’s setting and potential is so ripe for development, it’s more infuriating that none of it is used.
That’s nothing to say of the talent in front of the camera tossed aside. Rapace has proven herself as a very capable tough female protagonist (Prometheus, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), so it’s also a shame that she has nothing to do here. Her character is a one-note damsel that gets stuck sneaking around in air ducts and screaming about spiders. There’s nothing interesting about her and no reason to anticipate her escape. It’s even worse that she’s surrounded by some solid character actors that do nothing but stare vacantly out of the frame. Even Michael Bay had the good sense to let Stormare chew scenery in any role he gave him.
Rupture falls into the very worst category a fim out of the horror genre can be found it: boring. It’s wasted potential with a hint of creative bankruptcy, a sour martini that’s flatter than week-old beer. It seems almost afraid of itself and what it could be when it should be tantalizing the audience on how far it could go. You’d probably find more body horror on a live stream of your friend popping blackheads.