Rupture – Canada, USA, 2016

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Rupture is a 2016 American-Canadian science fiction thriller feature film directed by Steven Shainberg from a screenplay co-written with Brian Nelson (Hard Candy).

The movie stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis, Kerri Bishé, Ari Millen, Lesley Manville, Percy Hynes White, Morgan Kelly, Sergio Di Zio, Paul Popowich, Joel Labelle, Jonathan Potts, Jean Yoon, Brendan Jeffers.


Renee Morgan (Rapace), a single mom who lives with her twelve year-old son Evan in a quiet suburban home, is terrified of spiders. Unbeknownst to both, their every move is being observed.


While running her daily errands her car breaks down and she is violently kidnapped by a group of strangers. About 24 hours later, in an anonymous laboratory, she is tied up and questioned about her medical history, including her great fear of spiders.

Soon, her captors explain to her that her genetic abnormality can potentially allow her to “Rupture”, revealing her own true alien nature…


There are actors who you watch rapidly rise to the top as flavour of the month, and then make a steady descent, falling out of critical favour through a willingness to appear in any old rubbish. I’m not saying that is going to be the case with Noomi Rapace, but going from big budget affairs like Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Prometheus to nonsense like Rupture is surely not the sort of career path anyone would aspire to.

Rapace plays Renee, a woman who is kidnapped by a weird medical cult who like to put people through extreme terror situations – playing on phobias, in her case a fear of bad CGI spiders – in the hope of making their nervous systems ‘rupture’ – a process that pushes them into a new stage of human evolution. This evolution seems to consist of developing eyes with three pupils and the ability to make your head morph in some of the most laughably dreadful special effects that I’ve seen in a long time.

Much of Rupture involves Rapace running around the ventilation shafts of the grotty warehouse where the experiments are taking place, and while this is clearly meant to be dramatic, tense stuff, my only thoughts were ‘don’t these people have CCTV?’. The reason for my lack of involvement with her potential escape might be the fact that the performances in the film are so bad, you can’t possibly believe in any of the characters or their predicaments. Rapace isn’t the worst performer here – you can give that award to either Michael Chiklis, the kid playing her son or any one of the supporting players – but she’s still pretty bad. Maybe these are just lazy performances from actors slumming it. Maybe that could explain the lacklustre efforts of director Steven Shainberg, who previously made Secretary and Fur, and so should be capable of better than this.

The impressively grubby sets, the odd moment of drama and an interesting visual nod to The Shining stop this from being a total bust. But make no mistake, this is a pretty poor effort that serves only to make you appreciate just how good films such as  Hostel and Martyrs – both of which is blatantly lifts from – actually are.

David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA

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Other reviews:

“Noomi Rapace leads a cast with enough familiar names to attract attention; though this turns out to be more of a one-woman show than a roster boasting Michael Chiklis, Peter Stormare and Lesley Manville would suggest, the action suffices to entertain viewers who can get past a couple of oh-come-on-now plot contrivances.” John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“It’s not involving; it’s not scary; it’s just kind of miserable. When the ultimate purpose of Renee’s ordeal comes to light—I don’t think it’s a spoiler to comment that it’s like a self-empowerment seminar scripted by M. Night Shyamalan—the compensation for the aforementioned misery seems scant indeed.” Glenn Kenny, 

“Rapace tries a little too hard to seem ‘normal’ at the outset, though the film is predicated on Renee not being as ordinary as she seems so that’s perhaps appropriate – but a few of the plot twists are so telegraphed it’s hard to believe the heroine is fooled by them (the apparent lack of surveillance in the high-tech prison/scientific complex, for instance, should be a dead giveaway)…” The Kim Newman Web Site

” …it must be said that as the film’s mysteries are unraveled and Rupture‘s true thesis is spoken aloud, it’s pretty elementary, especially in light of the seductive inscrutability that precedes it. But that somewhat unsatisfying resolution does not retract from the perfect pressure of the film, riveting and dreadful, at times too tense to be borne.” Meredith Borders, Birth. Movies. Death.

“As Renee’s world is forced into ever smaller spaces, so too does the camera, which becomes lubricated with sweat and blood to allow for the squeeze.  Some of this careful work is undermined by a few moments of picture-breaking CGI, which took me out of the movie hard enough to think about the wrong question, “was there a simpler, better way to show a certain key image?” Kurt Halfyard, Screen Anarchy

“Rapace, accent aside, does a good job of holding things together. There’s a swirl of mysterious ideas, metaphors and possibilities whirring around without Rupture ever settling on one driving focus. Rupture is an odd, yet entertaining, thriller which marries mystery and horror tropes to keep you guessing long after the credits have rolled.” Rob Aldam, Backstreet Mafia

“Disappointingly the ‘big’ reveal, though different, is not unexpected. Our story also continues on longer than strictly necessary. There’s a great opportunity for the action to stop, but we continue on for another couple of scenes which fell unneeded and only serve to weigh down the run-time.” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News

Filming locations:

Toronto Zoo, Ontario, Canada


The film was released in the USA on DVD on May 30, 2017, by Lions Gate.

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6 Comments on “Rupture – Canada, USA, 2016”

  1. This is a film for the sickest of humanity. Any person connected with this should be arrested. A half hour into this movie made understand what a debased world is. I could call this anything but criminal.

  2. Gr8 movie , very suspenseful…I enjoyed the humanization at the beginning that so many movies of this caliber lack…and though I never like to see him the Villain (thought truly arguable that he is depending on whose side one is on) Chikles did a great job…gives one pause to the next evolutionary step…me, I am u for it…no love lost here…

    toss out this Blochy review cause it is NOT Mondozillaous…

  3. Not following the review at all. It’s funny when people see the movie all the way through, they can critique the writing as something a normal person would have figured out.

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