Creature-features and monster movies are two of my favorite horror sub-genres, right behind Zombie films. I haven’t seen any new films in either sub-genre in a while, though, so when my buddy Hayes told me he got one in the mail, I was stoked. THEN, he told me it was from Anchor Bay, and I almost exploded with joy...literally. The only reason I didn’t actually blow up was because blood and gore are very difficult to clean out of vehicle upholstery. Um, or so I’ve been told.
The Rig is one of those films that I had heard very little about, but was very glad I got the opportunity to watch. Here is the plot, courtesy of the film's official website:
When a tropical storm forces an offshore drilling company to evacuate non-essential personnel from the "Charlie" oil rig, the small but experienced crew left behind settles in to ride out the storm. Isolated on the rig, their routine night is interrupted when a crew member goes missing and an extensive search proves futile. Slowly, they discover that a deadly creature is stalking the crew, eliminating them one by one. Surrounded by nothing but raging ocean with no hope of escape, the roughnecks must survive the stormy night with an unrelenting force of death hunting them down.
First of all, I love the photography in this film. The Director of Photography does an excellent job of capturing the intensity of the moment and showing just enough in the scene to build suspense. There are several long, single-shot scenes where you know something is getting ready to happen (because a door behind a character swings slowly open or something hanging on the wall is gently nudged), but you don’t know when. A couple of times I found myself waiting in suspense so long that I thought the creature had left or decided not to do anything to the unsuspecting victim...but just as this thought crossed my mind, BAM! The creature strikes!
And speaking of the creature, I have to tip my hat to the creature effects crew. They give us an original, realistic looking monstrosity that wreaks havoc on the rig. Not only are the effects realistic, but they’re functional, too. There’s no lumbering joker in a constrictive rubber suit shuffling along. Instead, we get a fast, agile creature that can work itself into some pretty crazy places.
As for gore, there’s plenty of it. The creature tears into each victim with quite a fervor. I haven’t see carnage like that since last year’s After-Thanksgiving-Day-Sales. The crew is slaughtered, entrails are yanked out, and the red stuff pours freely in several scenes. My only complaint about the gore is that it’s all shown in such quick flashes that you don’t get a true chance to ‘enjoy’ it while its onscreen.
While the plot might not seem too terribly original, the story is well written and moves quickly along. I never once found myself thinking a scene was dragging on too long. At only 94 minutes in length, the pacing is right on and just about perfect for a film like this.
The cast is also top-notch and boasts several big names that I’m always happy to see in the credits, including William Forsythe and Art LaFleur. A few new names (to me) that I will certainly be watching out for in the future are in there as well, such as the lovely Serah D'Laine , the talented Stacey Hinnen and director Peter Atencio.
Fans of horror should be very pleased with The Rig. There are enough chills and blood-spills in this film to make every horror fan happy on some level. But don’t take my word for it; The Rig hits DVD stands on Tuesday, so pick it up and check it out for yourself.