Review: Rupture

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

PLOT: A single mother (Noomi Rapace) and her son are abducted, and she’s forced to endure a series of tests which her captors hope will unlock a secret within her DNA.

REVIEW: Steven Shainberg is an oddball choice to direct a genre film. Best-known for his S&M romance, SECRETARY, Shainberg, who followed that up with the lofty FUR: AN IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF DIANE ARBUS (with Nicole Kidman and a pre-comeback Robert Downey Jr), turns to sci-fi horror for his first film in ten years. By-passing the usual festival route, it made its world premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, where I saw it with a large crowd.

RUPTURE is a frustratingly inconsistent film despite some worthwhile elements. While how the premise runs out of gas is the main issue, there are many culprits here, and some may involve post-production problems. To me, this feels like a movie that may have ran out of cash, with the poor CGI of the finale not meshing with a movie that, otherwise, looks well composed and carefully produced.

Certainly, the cast is good, with Noomi Rapace cast against-type. Usually cast in parts not far removed from Lisabeth Salander, here she’s a perfectly normal mom, struggling through a divorce and dealing with a bratty son. When she’s abducted, her only motivation is to recover her son, but this isn’t an action movie. Rather, the captors, which include Kerry Bishe, Michael Chiklis and Peter Stormare are bent on breaking her fear factor. It’s like a feature-length version of the climax of 1984, with Rapace’s fear of spiders being the thing they use to horrify her, which means lots of scenes of Rapace strapped-down and covered with insects.

We learn she’s not the only captive, and that “failing” the test results in death/mutilation, but how do you pass? There are scenes where she tries to escape and unravel the mystery, and Rapace is always a unique physical presence, throwing herself into the part. Yet, after a really intriguing first half, the movie settles into a predictable rhythm and becomes deadly dull, with a predictable conclusion that has a real “been there, done that” vibe.

Still, there are good things about RUPTURE. First among these is the cinematography, which is atypically colorful for genre. The DP is Karim Hussain, who’s best known for HOBO WITH A SHOT GUN and much of the “Hannibal” TV series – and his look distinguishes the film. Rapace herself is another ace up Shainberg’s sleeve, but even still, she can’t sustain the premise, which just peters out. Peter Stormare contributes a nicely unhinged performance, but even still RUPTURE feels like a really solid short dragged-out to feature length, and the pace is punishing.

All that said, the crowd at Fantasia seemed to enjoy it, so perhaps for more patient genre fans, RUPTURE will have more appeal. You have to give Shainberg credit for trying his hand, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t gel. It’s an interesting effort nonetheless.




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About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.