It seems that the Characters of Noomi Rapace just can’t catch a break since the actress first rose to mainstream attention as Lisbeth Salander in 2009’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. With a resume featuring horrific alien abortions and surviving violent perverts, Rapace can almost be considered a high-profile scream queen at this point, and director Steven Shainberg aims to test her limits yet again with his new thriller, Rupture.
Rupture stars Rapace as Renee Morgan, a seemingly normal single mother kidnapped by a mysterious organization that’s been experimenting on human beings in the most gruesome ways imaginable. As she endures both physical and mental torment in an effort to escape the facility and get back to her son, Renee attempts to discover who’s behind these awful experiments, though she might not like the answer.
While many have rushed to dismiss Shainberg’s film as nothing more than “torture porn” (which is already an unfair label for any scary movie), the plot does actually make an effort to delve deeper into the story, despite the limited setting and screenplay. That’s not to say that our protagonist doesn’t suffer through unspeakable horrors, but it’s not quite as gratuitous as in other, similar films.
Overall, Rupture‘s greatest advantage over most other horror movies is Noomi Rapace herself, as the film devotes enough time to developing her character that we end up truly caring and rooting for Renee. Once things take a turn for the worse, she ends up carrying the rest of the film on her shoulders with her performance, making up for many of the script’s flaws and inconsistencies.
Sadly, there are quite a few of these flaws, and though Shainberg’s suspenseful direction manages to create some truly disturbing scenes, it’s not enough to cover up a sub-par script. There are some particularly interesting ideas here, and the mystery of who/what is really behind this organization could have made for an amazing movie. However, not enough time is spent developing these concepts, and the final reveal doesn’t feel all that satisfying because of that.
The limited budget also factors into some of these shortcomings, as a few instances of CGI are downright laughable, and really detract from the tension-filled atmosphere. I understand that there was probably no other way that these effects could have been achieved in this kind of production, but little a bit of subtlety goes a long way in masking imperfect special effects.
In spite of these limitations, Rupture is still a competently made thriller. Rapace’s performance alone is reason enough to justify a watch, though Shainberg’s storytelling skills also help make this a worthwhile experience. I can’t quite defend the script, but at the very least it had a few original ideas, which is a lot more than most “torture porn” movies can admit. It’s not a masterpiece by any means, but Rupture is most definitely worth your time.
Rupture will be available in theaters and VOD on April 28th!