Rattlesnake (2019)

  • Director: Zak Hilditchrattlesnake
  • Writer: Zak Hilditch
  • Main Cast: Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Apollonia Pratt

‘A soul for a soul’

Katrina is travelling cross-country with her young daughter, to start their lives afresh. While Katrina stops to change a tyre, the young Clara wanders off and is bitten by a rattlesnake. Desperate to save her daughter’s life, Katrina unquestioningly accepts help from a mysterious woman, then finds she has a hell of a debt to repay – a life for a life.

I’m glad I didn’t listen to the negative comments online about this film, as I actually thought it was pretty damn good.

(A quick note for the sake of clarity – this is not a creature feature 🙂 The rattlesnake is a brief plot point, not the main antagonist!)

There is a solid premise to the film, pushing you to think about how far you would go to save a loved one. The initial set up, with the woman saving the young Clara, was a little abrupt and I do feel like more could have been made of this sequence. It could have been made a lot scarier or more unsettling. However, this is in keeping with the general subtlety of the movie – this is not in-your-face horror.

Indeed, I saw some complaints online that it wasn’t really a horror at all. Admittedly, for 90% of the film it’s more a slow burning thriller – there aren’t jump scares or gallons of gore. Instead there is a constant, building tension and a general air of creepiness about the proceedings. Surely that’s just a more subtle kind of horror?

Carmen Ejogo is reserved but believable in her performance as Katrina. Every bit the loving mother, who will do anything necessary to protect her child. I loved Theo Rossi in Sons of Anarchy, so it was difficult to see him play a bastard in this film! Still, it was a good performance from him – realistically going from angry and arrogant, to vulnerable and afraid, then back again.

At just over 80 minutes, I’d say it’s certainly worth your time to check this out – subtle, creepy, tense and thought-provoking.

View the trailer here

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