Every now and again you come across an independent horror movie that really does sustain tension and most importantly, doesn’t end up going for laughs. If that is what you’re looking for then you are in for a treat and its name is “Rage”.
Rage is a tip off to Duel, Steven Spielberg’s 1971 debut film where Dennis Weaver plays a commuter terrorized by an unseen driver in a semi-truck. Rage director Christopher Witherspoon swaps out the truck for a motorcycle to great effect, upping the challenge and changing expectations.
Rick Crawford plays Dennis Twist (a great twist on Dennis Weaver), an everyday guy with an everyday life. One day he heads out into town to run some errands, leaving his lovely wife Crystal (Audrey Walker) at home, even though it’s his only day off. Soon we learn why, he’s actually going to meet his mistress, Dana (Anna Lodej) and break it off with her. While parking, he cuts off a Biker (Christopher Witherspoon) for a parking space. Never a good idea since you never know who you’re dealing with. Anyway, during the painful break up (painful for her, not him) we learn that she has an ex-con boyfriend that is not too happy about him being around in the first place, all the more reason to bolt. He says his goodbyes and heads out to his car only to be confronted by the Biker who keys his car in a drive by maneuver involving a large black combat knife. Thus begins the real game, is it Steven, Dana’s ex-con ex, or somebody far more dangerous?
Rage sets many theories into play from the obvious to the metaphysical and all are valid depending on your own point of view. Another thing the film does well is to keep us in the driver’s seat, holding our expectations, then switching gears and bring the action home, keep the tone but raising the intensity. We see so many knock off film every year but very few true homages that not only pay respect to the original film but bring their own standard of excellence to the table, Rage is trip worth taking.