Rabies

review big bad wolves

Editor’s note: Our review of Big Bad Wolves originally ran during this year’s Stanley Film Fest, but we’re re-running it now as it plays Fantastic Fest. After Israel’s first horror film, Rabies, was released in 2011 to critical acclaim you would have expected the floodgates to open as other filmmakers followed suit. But it never happened. Instead, it’s taken two years for the next incredibly dark thriller to escape the country, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s from the same writer-director pair. Young girls are being abducted, violated and murdered, and while a puzzled police force searches for evidence one morally muddy cop has run out of patience. He takes the law into his own hands after they discover the latest victim beheaded and assaulted, but his actions lead to his dismissal. The dead girl’s father makes his own move resulting in the main suspect being bound and gagged in the grieving man’s basement … with a table nearby covered in various tools of torture. What Israel’s two-man genre-film industry lacks in quantity it more than makes up for with quality, and Big Bad Wolves ups their game from their already quite good debut considerably. It’s dark, wonderfully twisted and laugh out loud funny … but it might just leave you questioning exactly why you enjoyed it so much. And you will enjoy it.

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trailer big bad wolves english

One of my favorite films out of this year’s Stanley Film Fest was the sophomore effort from the darkly dynamic Israeli duo behind 2010’s Rabies. Co-directors/writers Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado have followed up that bloody black comedy with the cruelly entertaining revenge thriller Big Bad Wolves, and after a couple months of it racking up awards and praise around the globe we’ve finally gotten the first English-subtitled trailer. The film follows a corrupt police detective and a grieving father who join forces to bring justice to the prime suspect in a string of vicious murders of pre-teen girls. What follows is a perfectly woven mix of tension, laughs and suffering. You’ll get to experience this twisted fairy tale for yourself later this year when Magnet releases it into theaters, but for now take a look at this gorgeous trailer below.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD and the last day of February! Well, what should be the last day but is instead actually the 2nd to last thanks to the shenanigans of the evil and gilled Leap Dave Williams. Only one big title hits shelves this week, but it’s an Academy Award winner! Other titles that aren’t named Hugo include a few fantastic and exciting foreign films (The Front Line, Rabies, The Yellow Sea), a few less exciting foreign films (The Conformist, Tomorrow When the War Began, Mandrill) and more! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. I Melt With You Four old college friends (Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Jeremy Piven) get together annually for a drug-fueled weekend, but their latest reunion finds each of them at the lowest point of their lives. All four leads do a fantastic job in this energetic but terribly depressing movie that examines the ideas of failure, depression and expectations at the mid-point of a man’s life. Things tease the point of over-doing it, but the lasting effect is a powerful one as the men face the lives and mistakes they’ve made. Plus Carla Gugino, Arielle Kebbel, and Sasha Grey! Director Mark Pellington has a couple solid films under his belt (Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies), but his main career focus seems to be music videos so it’s fitting that his latest film matches the stylish visuals, heavy emotional toll and powerful […]

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Genre films follow a certain set of rules, and that’s rarely more evident than it is with slashers. If four young people go into the woods where a madman has already captured one young woman it’s almost certain these reckless young people will have sex and then be picked off by the killer until only the virgin remains. The kindly park ranger and hard-ass cops who stumble onto the scene will also fall victim to his murderous rampage. And the final shot will most likely be a jump-scare letting us know that the psycho has survived and may return for a sequel. But Israel, it appears, is not fond of following rules. Rabies is a new Israeli horror film (maybe the first), but while the setup feels familiar the resulting chaos that follows owes more to an episode of Three’s Company than it does to the slasher film genre.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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