Hey folks, Valkor here. After giving my mind a bit of a rest after absorbing the awesomeness that is The Dark Knight Rises (in theaters now, get out and see it asap), I thought why not stay on the “dark” path and dip into some horror. This next vid comes from the folks at IFC and while Rites of Spring isn’t the scariest slasher flick I’ve sat through, it does lay the foundation for one bad ass villain. Prepare your butts for some “Major spoilers”.
Rites of Spring takes two stories that have one common link and sort of brings them together for one shocker of a closer… that doesn’t know exactly how to close. First up we have Rachel (Anessa Ramsey) and Alyssa (Hannah Bryan) – two gals doin it up in a bar, discussing how Rachel screwed a company for millions, with someone else taking the blame. Just when she suddenly realizes that someone else shouldn’t take the fall for her mistakes, she and Alyssa are kidnapped by this old man (Marco St. John), taken to his barn, Alyssa is stripped and topped with a paper mache cow’s head, and the two are about to get up close and personal with whatever is in the farmer’s cellar. Rachel is able to escape but creeper man aka Wormface is following close behind.
Reeling it back, the second story involves a group of kidnappers; we have Ben (AJ Bowen), who was recently fired from his job (see the connection yet?), he and his wife Amy (Katherine Randolph), his brother Tommy (Andrew Breland), and his friend Paul (Sonny Marinelli) devise a plan to rob his boss Ryan (James Bartz) of his millions. The plan goes off without a hitch for the most part but the group never counted on a) Ryan’s hired nanny Jessica (Sarah Pachelli) becoming a hostage and b) Paul killing Ryan’s wife. Paul, Ben and Amy hold up in a warehouse while it’s Tommy’s job to retrieve the money. He gets more than he bargained for when Ryan suprises him, turning the tide taking Tommy as hostage and using him to get the location of the other kidnappers who have his daughter.
You have two seriously separate storylines here, so how in the blazes can they come together? Going back to Rachel, remember she’s on foot running from the Wormface. It just so happens she makes her way to the warehouse just as things get really confrontational. But it’s about to get messier as Wormface makes the scene and he’s about to do a little “spring cleaning”, if you know what I mean.
I’m not exactly sure what the Rites of Spring is all about. Not the film, but the actual ritual involved in the film. So every year since 1984, women are kidnapped and never seen or heard from again. As it turns out the women in the past and the present women were used in some kind of ritual to preserve this farmer’s harvest.
I think. I’m not sure. Either way I have a lot to say in the TOV Breakdown.
Rites of Spring has a few good items going for it. 1) Wormface is this year’s newest slasher villain and ranks right up there with the great ones such s Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Meyers. He’s got the look (his face is seriously fucked up), he’s got his signature weapon, he’s pretty fast, and he has a penchant for separating heads from necks. I want another film with more of this… thing. 2) The film has some nice tension once Rachel makes her escape and shit goes crazy. There are a few twist, but nothing major. 3) The film has a nice run time of 80 minutes; the pacing is a bit slow at first but when things get started the remainder flows nicely. Finally you get a decent amount of gore, if that’s your thing. I believe a good slasher flick deserves a hefty amount of blood and guts, but the film has enough to keep your attention, mostly in the decapitation department.
Let’s kick this section off with the “what the hell is the ritual all about?” It’s never fully explained why this old farmer kidnaps these girls other than to feed them to Wormface. We only know that shit goes down on the first day of spring and it has something to do with a harvest, but other than that we’re pretty much left in the dark. Deal with the devil maybe? But later the old man says not to let whatever is in the basement out, yet he proceeds to hang people on a cross outside his cornfield, which Wormface is supposed to sacrifice? I don’t even… Next, it’s laughable how the two stories converge – the kidnapping and the ritual. Again, Rachel escapes the farmer’s barn with Wormface hot on her heels; when they start its day and when she reaches the warehouse its night. The fuck? She ran all that time? Funny, when Ben and Amy run back to the farmhouse (to escape Wormface) it didn’t seem to take as long. But I mean the whole scenario of Rachel running into the very same warehouse where the kidnapping is taking place just seems a bit too convenient, if you ask me. And what happened to Kelly? She escapes the warehouse so I guess we’re to assume she made it out ok? But I raged the hardest to find that through it all, Rachel is the one to make it out alive. I would have thought it to be Ben since he was the nice guy who got screwed over. Nope, it’s fucking Rachel. And that ending – what kind of ending is that? It’s just Rachel running into the darkness! And stay till after the credits because then you get to see what happens to Ben. If anything, does that mean that Wormface is possibly still alive? Ultimately the film simply doesn’t know how to end. I mean it’s such a letdown. And after such a nice buildup too.
Easy! Wormface gets the nod. We get one nasty close up and then you’ll know why he’s called Wormface to begin with.
You can currently find Rites of Spring on IFC Video On Demand and it will air on August 27th. I’m kind of at a crossroads with this one. On the one hand I love the Wormface, the story has its quirks, but overall the film is watchable, but there’s just so much I hate about the film. I’d say for a late night slasher flick, taking in the good and the bad, I’m gonna meet Rites of Spring halfway with a 2.5 out of 5 stars. It’s not the greatest film, but it is somewhat entertaining.