Wednesday, April 26, 2017

After a ten-year hiatus, Steven Shainberg is back directing--with sci-fi thriller, RUPTURE

You may remember Steven Shainberg from his critically popular Sundance-heralded film, Secretary, or maybe his interesting (but less popular with critics or audiences) Diane Arbus fantasy bio-pic, FUR. That film, and/or possibly some other things, led to our not hearing from Mr. Shainberg (shown below) for a decade, so far as directing is concerned. The good news is, he's back. And the even better news is that his latest film, RUPTURE, is quite a bizarre, frightening and entertaining addition to the sci-fi/kidnap-thriller sub-genre.

It also offers (spoiler ahead, so skip to the next paragraph if you want maximum surprise from this little movie) quite a nice new wrinkle on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers template, especially in the manner in which it introduces new characters as we move along and then slowly unfurls their intentions toward our kidnapped heroine.

That heroine would be the single mom, Renee (played by Noomi Rapace, below: the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), who seems simply a normal woman just trying to provide her young son and herself with decent life prospects.

When, after setting up this sense of normalcy and pleasant family life, our heroine is kidnapped, we feel as shocked, frightened and confused as does she, trying to come to terms with what happened and -- particularly -- to what end?

The latter is doled out to us very slowly and very cleverly by the director (who also contributed the story) and his screenwriter, Brian Nelson, who only allow us and Renee to understand what is happening in such confusing dribs and drabs that this makes our and her frustrations and fear continually mount.

To give away those dribs and drabs would only add more spoilers, so TrustMovies will just say that they are provided by an ensemble of fine character actors like Peter Stormare (above, left), Michael Chiklis, (above, center, and below), Lesley Manville (above, right) and Kerry Bishé, (above, second from left), each of whom creates as much of a character out of these oddball villains, as possible, given that we and the camera rarely leaves the face, body and fear being experienced by the formidable Ms Rapace.

This actress has a fine role here and she gives it what it needs, holding us in thrall and in hope for her future throughout. And Mr. Shainberg sees to it that we stay with her, exterior and interior, until the troubling finale.

The film's ending is a humdinger: leaving a lot open-ended, even as it makes clear what has happened and will continue to happen. Rupture is a nice addition to this sub-genre mash-up. For all the earlier films from which it borrows, the end result seems surprisingly original and very frightening and queasy-making indeed.

From AMBI Media Group and running 102 minutes, Rupture opens this Friday, April 28, in New York City at the Cinema Village and in the L.A. area at the Arena Cinemas. For all you who don't live on either coast, the film will simultaneously hit VOD.

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