World Horror Cinema: Israel
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 6.5/10
Don’t be fooled by the title – this isn’t another zombie/plague movie. Rabies is all real-life horror with people doing horrible things when pushed to the edge. If you want to be left feeling disturbed and sad, give it a watch, but know that it really isn’t for the faint of heart.
With multiple story arcs, Rabies got a bit confusing at times, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. It takes place in a forest reserve that’s closed for the season. First we have an incestuous brother and sister who’ve run away from home and are hiding in the forest. The girl falls into a hole/trap that can’t be opened, so the brother runs for help. Then we have Menashe, the park’s caretaker, patrolling around with his dog. The psychopathic killer comes to collect his human prey, but when he’s trudging through the woods with the bound and helpless female, Menashe sees him and shoots him with a dart. He collects the girl and starts carrying her to safety.
Meanwhile we have four young tennis players, two men and two women, lost on their way to a tournament. The brother runs out in front of their care, but survives the accident. He ropes the guys into helping him get his sister out of the trap while the girls wait by the car for the police.
Sounds like things will work out, right? The cops are on their way and the sister is in good hands. Unfortunately the one cop prefers to sexually assault women and the other is too chicken to stop his partner, and with mistaken identity, active land mines in the woods, and a whole heap of love and jealousy, no one gets out of this story with clean hands (or gets out at all).
Rabies was one of the more suspenseful and surprising movies I’ve seen in a while. You know that part in House of 1000 Corpses where Otis takes an agonisingly long time to shoot the old man? This movie is filled with scenes like that. But it’s not a one-trick pony either – there are plenty of quick bits of action that keep you jumping, too. It’s the kind of movie that stabs you in the gut and doesn’t forget to twist the knife. Most surprising is that the psychotic killer was a minor character, but thanks to the abundance of evil within all of us, it’s still a bloodbath!
You’ll be left with a lot of questions at the end and a lack of closure, but you’ll have learned one thing for sure: people are horrible.
Here’s the trailer, and below that you’ll find the full movie. If you’re a true horror fan, consider watching it. It’s reportedly Israel’s first slasher film!