The Soska Sisters are one of the best modern genre filmmakers. Complimenting 2013’s American Mary, their new remake of David Cronenberg’s Rabid makes for a brilliant virus horror ride, whilst also exploring a number of interesting characters.
Both Cronenberg’s 1977 original, and the Soska Sisters’ reboot follow the same basic premise: after a horrific road collision, a young woman undergoes experimental plastic surgery, which leaves her with a violent strain of rabies, which soon spreads across the country, escalating into a pandemic.
The best thing about this remake is how it explores the female lead with much more depth than your average film. We learn about her career, desires, goals, history and spend considerable time showing how she deals with the crash.
There’s a beautifully painful make up effect of her wired shut jaw. Yet, the scene isn’t engrossing for how scary it makes disfigurement look, but for how we feel her humanity and pain. There are also many fantastic gore set pieces — a particularly memorable one involves a soap opera set devolving into chaos when the handsome lead male begins eating his co-star.
Rabid makes for both a delicate and human character study, as well as an entertaining gore piece, and comes highly recommended.