Thursday, February 2, 2012
As Dennis Twist leaves his suburban home early one morning to run a few errands all seems fairly prosaic, in a good way. He's got a beautiful wife, nice home, and appears to be a friendly enough guy, offering to help out his neighbor with a chainsaw problem. Dennis irreproachable image however is shattered to the viewers when we see that he's been having an affair. With intent to break it off Dennis heads into town but on his way his day turns sour when he blindly incites the anger of a motorcyclist. The biker taunts and stalks Dennis for what starts as a simple case of road rage but soon accelerates to a violent horror as the biker is now intent on killing Dennis. But when Dennis thinks he's escaped and heads home he's unaware that he's not only put his life in danger but his wife's as well. Chris Witherspoon's independent film draws heavy influence from the Steven Speilberg classic car thriller Duel in it's first hour and then climaxes to a bloody finale.
Usually I don't pick up or take too much notice to sound unless it's prominent and in this I noticed there was a unique way of sound lays. Specifically a scene towards the end where the starting of a chainsaw lapse's over the sound of a phone ringing, making a very provoked sense of fear. As well as early on in the film where it switches in conversation from a clear range of hearing to a muted sense, not sure if that was intentional or by accident but it was really quite fascinating to listen too. The last half hour to Rage is the best though as it really just explodes what ever suspense it carefully built up before hand. This is all acclaim to Witherspoon as every job he was a part of was executed to absolution. It's notably hard in straying the line between paying homage and directly ripping a film off. Though Rage has many moments that are pulled from Duel (i.e. Dennis inner commentary, never seeing the bikers face) it's still its own film and superlatively good. If you a fan of Speilberg's classic undoubtedly you'll appreciate the references but if not it's an antsy small budget thriller that doesn't show its limitations.