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Low budget slasher, that copies most of it's ideas from Jeepers
creepers 1 & 2.
It takes at least 20 minutes to even get going (and by that I mean for something.. hell anything interesting to happen!) I watched this film because of the reviews on IMDb which said said the gore was cool.. Where? when? Two badly done fake blood splatters and one comical rubber finger slice later any hope I had Rites of Spring being any better than a bad student film project left.
Better films (..as in the plot, acting or effects) in this genre are..
Husk  Triangle  Summers Blood  The Collector  Amusement [2008} Kill Theory .. If you haven't seen one those films I suggest you do over Rites of Spring.
Even the ending sucked big time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
An opening title card for "Rites of Spring" tells us that five teenage
girls went missing on the first day of spring in 1984, and that a
string of other young girls went missing the following year, again on
the first day of spring, and that these disappearances continued
annually for the next twenty-four years. We're never told what state
this happened in, although the film is littered with shots of
cornfields, dilapidated barns, and rusty water towers, so it's
obviously somewhere in the Midwest, maybe Iowa or Wisconsin. Because of
a passing cop car, we do know that the name of the town is, ironically,
Hope Springs. But never mind; the important thing is that none of the
bodies were ever recovered. How ominous. This could, perhaps, play into
the cliché of passing off a horror movie as a dramatization of an
actual incident. We'll never know, of course, since the words "inspired
by true events" weren't used in the ads.
The futility of applying logic to a movie like this is not lost on me, but I'm forced to wonder about the population of Hope Springs. Given twenty-four consecutive years of disappearances on the same day, you'd think someone somewhere would have noticed a pattern beginning to form, and therefore would have been motivated to hightail it out of there. At the very least, you'd think all the parents would have the decency to send their young daughters away for their own protection. But no; not only is Hope Springs still a thriving community, it also seems as if no one is aware of what has been happening all these years. The opening scene, in which two twentysomething women leave a bar after midnight and are immediately kidnapped by a hooded man with a chloroform-soaked rag, makes this abundantly clear. So too does a scene in which two people enter an old house and discover a hidden room with dozens of pictures and newspaper clippings pinned to the wall.
At this point, the film splits into two plot lines. In one, the two kidnapped women (Anessa Ramsey and Hannah Bryan) awaken to find themselves hanging by their wrists in a dusty old barn. Their kidnapper, an old man known only as The Stranger (Marco St. John), enters the room and asks one of them if she's clean. He then collects samples of their blood and tosses them into a pit, at which point some ... some creature stirs out of a slumber. Later on, The Stranger cuts all the clothes off of one of the girls, covers her head with a goat mask, and gives her a sponge bath. How boring that his use of the word "clean" was literal. In between these moments, the two women cry, scream, hyperventilate, ask each other what's happening to them, and make promises that one will not leave the other behind. We also see The Stranger praying in a room decorated with toy horses and using a goat's skull to pay homage in front of a vast cornfield.
In the other plot line, a young man named Ben (A.J. Bowen) is drawn into a scheme to extort money from a wealthy businessman named Ryan Hayden (James Bartz). The mastermind, Paul (Sonny Marinelli), is cold and ruthless, whereas Ben clearly does not have the temperament for this kind of thing. Regardless, they succeed in killing Hayden's wife and kidnapping his daughter, Kelly (Skylar Page Burke), although there's the unexpected addition of Kelly's babysitter, who saw Paul's face. They take Kelly to a conveniently abandoned factory and begin making their demands for $2 million in unmarked, unprocessed tens and twenties. Sent to pick up the money is Ben's brother, Tommy (Andrew Breland). Little does anyone know that Hayden is the not the kind of man you want to screw with.
For the first half of the film, we're struggling to figure out how these two stories are connected. When all is made clear, we're more infuriated than satisfied. That's because, in spite of the history certain characters share, which decency prevents me from revealing, writer/director Padraig Reynolds either didn't realize or didn't care that he made two completely different movies. Their convergence in the final act is actually one step below a contrivance; it literally seems as if scenes from a crime thriller and a slasher/creature feature were spliced together in the editing room with only the hope that a cohesive storyline would somehow emerge. Ed Wood turned that level of artistic incompetence into an endearing form of camp. A viewing or two of "Glen or Glenda" might actually do Reynolds some good.
The Internet Movie Database dubs the main antagonist Creature, although the end credits refer to him as Worm Face, and indeed, select close-up shots reveal a head with worms crawling on it. We don't really know what the hell he is; he has the proportions of a regular albeit tall man, although his face is anything but human, and miraculously, I could tell this despite the fact that his head was wrapped in some kind of cloth. We do know that his weapon of choice is a sickle blade attached to a long stick, and there will be many scenes near the end of him chasing people, not just though the abandoned factory but also through cornfields, which is only appropriate. The final scene of "Rites of Springs" is immensely unsatisfying, not only because of the caviler attitude with which Reynolds regards loose ends but also because of a post credit scene that amounts to overkill. This is such a poor effort. How could it have earned a theatrical release?
-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)
If Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) and The Creeper (Jeepers Creepers)
were to have a baby, Wormface would be the result. It's a low-budget
slasher/creature movie that didn't knock my socks off, but didn't leave
me gagging either...Well, not too much.
If you're not too anal retentive about your horror movies, the film in itself is not as bad as the others I've seen where I wanted to pour bleach in my eyes after seeing the first 5 minutes, sometimes less. You just have to understand that this movie is not up to par with the great horror classics. It's unoriginal, cliché-ridden and there are numerous flaws as you go along.
However, the actors are good and the cinematography is not bad either. Their shots of the corn field reminded me of Husk, which is an excellent film, by the way. The ending would probably leave you scratching your head, thinking WTF just happened. There are some loose ends left in the story that attempted to add some mystery, but failed.
In short, it's like an appetizer film that would be good to watch on a lazy night. It's watchable, if your expectations are not that high.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It starts out bad and ends even worse.
The acting was horrible save for Anessa Ramsey and AJ Bowen. Ramsey does a great job at imitating a scream queen, but is limited by poor writing and directing. Bowen, who was terrific in The Signal, also falls prey to the writing and directing, so much so that he isn't even given an opportunity to act. Everyone else was pretty bad. Painfully bad. Like, you'd wince when they said their lines.
All of the characters did completely unrealistic things throughout the movie. If it wasn't the two girls at the beginning not noticing the guy behind them in the parking lot, then it was the girl at the end speeding away from the monster, only to pull over a few miles down the road. Also, how the hell did he catch up so fast?
Oh the 'monster'. This has got to be one of the worst monsters I've seen in quite a long time. Some guy wrapped up like the mummy wearing a mask? He's supposed to be some sort of supernatural creature who feeds on blood and...heads? Where did it come from? Why does such a creature exist? No information or background is given at all on the monster. It's called horror 101. Every monster needs a back story.
Speaking of back stories, NONE of the characters had them. Well, just the poor slob with the hot girlfriend who got fired from his job. There was no motivation for most of these characters. There were just there and that's it. Some of them were even throwaway characters, (younger brother of the slob, older sister of he kidnap victim, the mother of the kidnap victim).
The plot twist? Huh? You can't have a plot twist without explaining why the character did what they did. Case in point: the older daughter was young, very good looking and rich to boot. Yet, she hooks up with an old, ugly broke guy who would obviously kill his own Mother without a second thought. Not only that but she kills her own Father? Why would she do all of this? For a lousy 2 million? Was she abused? A drug addict? I guess it's a mystery.
The main plot is...well there really isn't one. Basically a monster kills everyone in it's path and we hope that the girl either stops him for good or gets away. Here's the part that makes absolutely NO SENSE: The old man is killing girls to feed the creature so the...creature...doesn't...kill girls himself? Huh? In the end, she cuts the monster with his axe and he bleeds all over, then she runs on foot covered head to toe in blood, down the road as the sun begins to rise, which is a direct ripoff of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The screen goes black.
Did the monster get back up? Did she get away?
Seriously, who cares?
EDIT: IMDb should require people to post only from their Facebook profiles because a few of these 'reviews' are obviously people associated with the film.
A ransom scheme turns into a nightmare for a group of kidnappers who
become victims of a horrifying secret that must be paid every spring.
Horror fans will instantly recognize AJ Bowen, the current independent horror go-to actor. Beyond that, many faces appear on screen that we may never see again. There is particularly terrible acting from the father character, which might take some viewers out of the movie.
This might appeal to some people, but it never seems to quite capture what it was going for. While it starts as a kidnapping film, it turns into something like a poor man's "Jeepers Creepers". And even then, there is an undercurrent that is not far removed from "It". At no point does anything seem quite original enough to merit respect.
Two girls are kidnapped in the parking lot of a bar by unknown
assailants. They are taken to a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere and
strung up as sacrifice to a local deity that comes out in the spring.
One escapes, stumbling onto a group of kidnappers right in the middle
of a ransom plot gone wrong, and about to be made worse when a large,
ugly beast out of a Party City costume log comes after them.
"Rites of Spring" is your definitive mediocre, boring slasher trying to be an homage to classic seventies horror. It's not bad, and those that say it is bad clearly haven't ever seen the films this is trying to remake. No horror slasher is good. Some are simply more exciting than others. This is not one of those films.
Our heroes are nonplussed actors who are not very good at what they do. But they represent the film in that they are not bad. Perhaps it is because the script has about as much life as a decorative plastic rock made to cover up blemishes in one's lawn. It's not ever particularly interesting. But it's not bad.
"Rites of Spring" is not a bad film. But it's not a good one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Opening inter-titles: high school senior young women go missing, year
after year, since 1984. The film has already jumped the shark. That
sort of thing would have been stopped in well under 30 years.
Alyssa and Rachel leave a bar late at night. Rachel is conflicted about having made a mistake at work. Alyssa tells her to let someone else take the fall for it. Their car starts, eventually, but they immediately get a flat. Then they get abducted, taken to a barn, and strung up by their wrists by The Stranger. The Stranger does whatever the monster in the cellar needs.
In a parallel thread, Ben and Paul kidnap Kelly, the daughter of Ryan, the principal employer in the area, and Jessica, Kelly's nanny. They demand 2 million USD in 2 hours. The kidnapping rolls forward on schedule, more or less. Tommy picks up the money, but he also picks up Kelly's father Ryan.
Rachel gets free, then tries to help Alyssa, who is already dead by decapitation. Rachel escapes and runs; she goes to the place where the kidnappers are. The two plot threads come together.
Ryan has Jessica freed, but Jessica is in league with Paul. Jessica shoots Ryan, and Paul informs the rest of them that he and Jessica are taking the 2 million. Then he kills Tommy. Ben and Amy are left defenseless against these two.
Meanwhile, Rachel and the monstrous killer are racing toward the kidnappers. No one listens to her, of course. The monster decapitates Jessica. In the middle of all this, young Kelly breaks free and escapes.
Ben has an opportunity to end all this by killing Paul, but of course he does not have the courage. Paul takes Rachel hostage and leaves. Rachel keeps insisting they have to clear out. The monster kills Paul, and takes another head.
Ben, Amy, Rachel, and the monster are left. Ben and Amy go looking for a telephone, only to find the house of The Stranger. Amy's probably out of luck, but when The Stranger starts to carve up Ben, Rachel hammers The Stranger. The find Amy strung up on a cross, but the monster kills her. Ben throws Rachel his keys, then the monster does in Ben. Amy finds the car, travels down the road a bit, seems to find some help, but the one who could have aided her turns out the lights.
Cinematography: 0/10 Camera shake. Way out of focus intervals. I liked the 2.35 aspect ratio, which sometimes means that excellent cinematography is on the way. Not here, not at all. More camera shake. Amateurish framing mistakes, inside-outside light level mistakes, ridiculous fades to totally out of focus blurs on the entire screen.
Sound: 7/10 Best part of the film.
Acting: 4/10 OK, given the script.
Screenplay: 0/10 Corn plants that are 7 or 8 feet tall, with full ears, on March 21? Perhaps not. New abductions every year for close to thirty years with no solution? I don't think so. The monster had minutes of opportunity to do in Rachel. He usually killed his victims in one strike. What was the weird nest in the cellar? Not answered. Was this a crime movie? Not a very good one. Was it a horror movie? Not a convincing one or a scary one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*SPOILERS FOLLOW!* *THIS MOVIE SUCKS!* *THAT'S THE SPOILER!* A lot of
the reviews I've read here have made a big deal about the fact that
this movie is about two seemingly utterly different plot lines that
converge and WACKINESS ENSUES!...or I guess it's supposed to be terror
ensuing. Not sure. Not sure the filmmakers knew either. I don't know
where these reviewers are coming from, but seriously...two seemingly
disparaging plot lines coming together in unexpected ways is old hat in
the real world that I live in and it's nothing worth popping a monocle
Real talk. If you don't immediately see the connection between the two WILDLY DIFFERENT plots five minutes into this movie...you are officially not the brightest crayon in the box. Honestly, you don't even make burnt umber. Sorry.
This is a dumb movie that doesn't know where it wants to go. The few bright points it has, that being the occasional brilliant and believable performance of AJ Bowen, are either killed off with no explanation or killed off in a very tired manner. Also with no explanation.
And that's honestly its worst sin. There's no given reason for anything. No given reason why the monster exists,no given reason why one man is trying to stop it from awakening, no given reason why stopping it from awakening requires him to do the disgusting things we see him do. This movie could be tag-lined "Crying and Moaning 'Why Are You Doing This??'" and no answer will apparently ever be given.
Horror fans aren't idiots and honestly, when you prove that you can do better, we deserve to actually see it. I give it eight gorilla anuses out of ten. And I'm being generous.
I'm not sure what the worst thing is about this low budget horror yarn,
the script or the directing. The script, I think, although the
direction is pretty poor and uninteresting. The problem with RITES OF
SPRING is that it's all so predictable, and it has less going on than
even the likes of a WRONG TURN sequel.
The story tells of a kidnapping gone wrong, as a group of kidnappers attempt to take a rich man's daughter in return for a big ransom. A second storyline sees a couple of young women kidnapped by a creepy old farmer, where they are to become lunch for something terrible living in the basement. Eventually the two plot strands combine in the most predictable way imaginable.
There's very little going on here and nothing we haven't seen before. The shocks and twists are very well telegraphed and of the type we've seen countless times. The characters are thinly drawn and the performances completely forgettable. All this has going for it is some half-decent make-up and some okay gore effects, but that's hardly a reason to keep you going; this is barely watchable.
This incredibly low budget horror movie has no clue what it wants to be. It is a home invasion movie, then a kidnap movie, then a serial killer movie, then a killer hillbilly movie, and the worst part is that it does all of these equally bad. The acting is terrible across the board, the story is laughable, the direction is all over the place, like it was filmed by a 10 year old that was using all the new features on his camera phone, which it was probably shot on. I understand that this was a bad movie and it knows it, but that does not change the fact the it is awful on every level, well, except maybe for the poster, which was interesting enough to catch my eye and got me to watch this waste of time movie. 1.5 Beards Out Of 5
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