Title: Rage

Also known as:

Year: 2010

Genre: Thriller / Horror / Independent

Language: English

Runtime: 85 min

Director: Christopher R. Witherspoon

Writer: Christopher R. Witherspoon

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1403987/

When Dennis, a guy in his 30's, is going to break it off with his mistress he has a run-in with a biker that ends up following him through the entire day. The childish games the biker plays with him escalates to sicker and sicker territories and finally breaks into Dennis and his wife's house.

Our thoughts:
I honestly though I was getting a short film sent to me. I got a mail basicly asking if I wanted to review this film and then a while later, without getting any more e-mails, I got the disc. At first I even had to go through my e-mails to know who sent it!

"Rage" tells a cat-and-mouse story in the likes of "Duel" (which is talked about within the movie as a homage), "The Hitcher" and newer films like "Joyride". I think these films are all good and the idea of having someone doing everything to get you is scary. It is! And "Rage" plays on that theme. After Dennis goes to town to break up with his mistress because he loves his wife, a biker starts following him. He suspects that this biker is his mistress' ex-boyfriend - a guy he knew was a biker. This biker just continues to harrass him in different ways - even cutting his breaks. After plenty of chasing around town Dennis finally goes home to his wife. But he can't tell her that he suspects his mistress' ex-boyfriend to be after him, it would break her heart and terrify her all at the same time! The biker ends up breaking in though, and things just insane after that.

One of the most talked about parts of this movie is the biker's motives. He is left masked through the entire movie we have some ideas of what could be behind it all, and in the end the reasons don't justify what he does at all. It's not a surprise what his motive is, though. I don't even think it was intended to be. But what he does is too over-the-top for it. That's something that has split the audience in two. Some people don't mind it, and some people it's silly. I didn't really mind it, to be honest. There's a scene in particular that I felt was pointless if you consider his motive, but at the same time it works as a decent slasher scene. I think that's the thing with this movie - for the first part it's a psychological thriller, but then it escalates into a slasher/exploitation movie. I think if you accept that, then it works!

The acting, with most focus on Rick Crawford as Dennis Twist, I think is good. He cheated on his wife but he is very likable and easy to root for. Most of the movie is him being worried and confused and he played it off well for an independent low-budget movie. This is a vital part that makes the movie better than what I had ever expected.

Director, writer, producer, actor (the biker), cinematographer and editor Christopher R. Witherspoon has made an above decent thriller / slasher that I hope will get some recognizion from fans. It never goes so over-the-top that it ventures to places that most slashers nowadays start off and that's good. It keeps it grounded and realistic. The questionable motive is easy to forget, but I won't blame you if you think it lowers the movie. For me it didn't really. I hope to see more films by this guy (his "Middle Man" isn't of interest to me, though) because he has an eye for keeping things intense and realistic enough. I'm glad this movie was sent to me because I doubt I would've seen it otherwise because I'm so skeptical against current horror movies of this type. An above-average independent effort!

Positive things:
- Keeps is pretty grounded.
- When it goes "over-the-top" it still works.
- Nice mix of thriller/suspense, slasher and exploitation.
- Good acting by Rick Crawford.
- Christopher R. Witherspoon - kudos!
- Glad the psycho was never unmasked.
Negative things:
- The motive of the psycho is very questionable.
- In one scene you would've wanted Dennis to fight back a bit more.

Gore: 2/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 0.5/5

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