M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Five of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2014 and going through September 30, 2015. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on June 15, 2015. Available On Demand, digital download, and Blu-ray/DVD!
Directed by Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado
Written by Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado
Starring Henry David, Liat Harlev, Ania Bukstein, Ran Danker, Danny Geva, Lior Ashkenazi, Menashe Noy, Ofer Shechter, Yael Grobglas, Efrat Boimold
While this excellent film was made in 2010, it wasn’t available for the masses until 2015, so while I previously didn’t have RABIES on my list for this year, it definitely deserved a high place. I absolutely loved this film from Israel. Every second was either shocking or hilarious or absurd and sometimes all three at once. RABIES is the complex tale of a handful of people set adrift aimlessly in the middle of the woods. A brother and sister, a quartet of travelers, a pair of cops, a killer, a park ranger, and a dog all have their own stories going on in this amazing tale of wilderness horror. How writers/directors Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado weave these stories together is the stuff of genius reminding me of the complex plotting one might find in a Tarantino or Soderbergh flick with the gore and “that’s just wrong”-ness of an Eli Roth schlocker.
This Israeli story starts out in the middle of the action as a young girl is trapped in a metal pit pleading with someone to help her get out. We soon find that they are brother and sister. The story unfolds naturally as characters bump into one another while wandering in the endless woods. Some are there to kill. Some are there to help. Some are not sure why they are there. Though with a title like RABIES, thoughts of a zombie film come to mind and I was bracing myself for that type of flick, early on you realize this is a story of how rabid and mindless people can be in the face of danger and while the players bounce into one another like a Scooby Doo chase scene with dire consequences, in RABIES everything unfolds making some kind of sense, despite the seemingly random actions of the cast.
The plot twists are abundant. The script is punchy and never forgets to be fun, until things get deadly, and even then it’s kind of got an undeniable gallows humor going on. The violence is both over the top, but grounded in reality, shunning the typical slasher motifs for more visceral sequences of terror (there’s a scene with a broken jaw that is absolutely grueling to watch). RABIES is a fantastic film showing that once again, some of the best horror comes from outside of American borders. It’s a film that not only horror lovers can enjoy, but lovers of well made cinema can like as well. Though the content is pretty diabolical for your typical movie-goer, one can’t help but marvel at the way this film was constructed and the talent behind the actors who plat it all out. Don’t miss RABIES.
THE 2014-2015 COUNTDOWN!
#2 – RABIES
#3 – PREDESTINATION
#4 – THE CANAL
#5 – THE BABADOOK
#6 – CREEP
#7 – LATE PHASES
#7.5 – WER
#8 – IT FOLLOWS
#9 – SPRING
#10 – EAT
#11 – GOODNIGHT MOMMY
#12 – LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
#13 – STARRY EYES
#14 – THE BOY
#15 – THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN
#16 – THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME
#17 – THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS
#18 – CUB
#19 – POD
#20 – BACKCOUNTRY
#21 – CLOSER TO GOD
#22 – WE ARE STILL HERE
#23 – A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
#24 – WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD
#25 – THE EDITOR
#26 – DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD
#27 – PARA ELISA
#28 – THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT
#29 – FROM THE DARK
#30 – EXISTS
#31 – A PLAGUE SO PLEASANT
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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