Rupture starts with a scream and a moment more than one person’s experienced (although probably not with a creature of this size) a big spider in the bathroom. Renee (Noomi Rapace) is afraid of spiders. So much so, her son Evan (Percy Hynes) must rush in and capture the creature and remove it from the house before she can finish getting ready for the day…
Renee and Evan seem like a typical mother and son getting ready before leaving the house. But there are hints that everything with this family is not as it seems. Renee may be scared of spiders, but she’s not spineless or unable to manage the day-to-day of living by herself. Shortly after the bathroom incident, we hear Renee’s half of a phone call where she finalizes plans to go skydiving. She may rattle but she doesn’t break. By establishing the duality of the central character’s personality immediately Shainberg prepares us for her behavior to come. With smart cut away shifts to camera angles that can’t be anything other than surveillance footage and unexplained shots of someone tampering with her car, the stage is set for a day that, in one way or another, will not end like any other in the past.
Steven Shainberg combines expected genre tropes (everyone needs a good jump moment) with that feeling of being watched that keeps you looking over your shoulder – even in your own house – in a manner that sets up a subtle but persistently growing feeling of unease. This movie isn’t a typical anything. If crisis reveals character, according to the disturbingly matter-of-fact group lead by Peter Stormare and including the chilling duo of Michael Chiklis and Kerry Bishé, terror will reveal Renee’s true self.
Rupture contains one of the more well executed abduction and transportation scenes that transitions quickly into a series of events that are just plan unsettling. Renee’s confronted by a benignly smiling woman (Leslie Manville) who informs her of predicament while calmly stripping her of her pants, chaining her to a bench and leaving her a chamber pot. Using a woman for this role heightens the sheer tenseness and discomfort of these scenes in a way a man would not. Manville with her disturbingly placid affect is completely convincing and creepy. The movie goes from one claustrophobic environment to another which establishes the “bug under a microscope” feeling perfectly suited to this “existential” experiment; but it could’ve used more connective depth to anchor all the moving parts.
On the one hand, it would be easy to accuse this film of going for the obvious torture element but there’s a subtle message at play delivered through cool dialogue and visualized on screen as Renee discovers who her captors really are, what it is they really want, and that she’s not the only subject undergoing harrowing experiences here; all while you’re slightly unsure if what you’re witnessing as she’s running around (not escaping) is happening while she’s actually strapped to a gurney rather moving around the facility seemingly with ease. There’s a lot of running, some poorly timed exploring, and creepy moments to be had. If you’re catching the dialogue cues as the movie unfolds, you begin to question what’s happening along with the main character and in the end, you’re not too sure if this group of “enlightened” accomplished their aim or unleashed something in Renee not even they truly understand. It’s an intriguing story, that could’ve used it’s time less on the lead up to the transformation and more on post-transformed Renee.
After sitting on this movie a while, before trying to write anything, I figured out what was my issue is with the film. Rupture feels like an introduction; like any good prologue its laid out its themes, shown the inner character of the movie’s core people and left me ready for the rest of the story to begin. It left me curious far more than I should’ve been after 102 minutes.
and for the record, I REALLY hate spiders.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Rupture is the story of recently divorced mother Renee (Noomi Rapace) who, after dropping her son off to spend the weekend with his overbearing father, is lured into a trap and abducted by a group of people intent on forcing her to participate in what appears to be a clinical human trial. It quickly becomes clear these people desperately want something from Renee and their willing to scare her within an inch of her life to get it.
CAST: Noomi Rapace, Peter Stormare, Kerry Bishe, Michael Chiklis
DIRECTOR: Steven Shainberg
WRITERS: Brian Nelson, Steven Shainberg