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The Rift
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The Rift More at IMDbPro »

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Visually great but lifeless acting and a shallow script

4/10
Author: Hole_In_The_Bucket from United States
6 January 2013

First things first. I usually like to start with the positive aspects of a film and the biggest thing this film has going for it are the visuals. It has a very consistent color palette throughout, giving it a clean, professional look that is very hard to achieve with such a small budget. With updates to computer software technology and hardware allowing for lower prices, it really isn't difficult to put this technology in the hands of Joe Q. Public but with that being said, it still requires some skill and an eye for detail to keep consistency throughout. The CGI is fairly well done, opting for the "less-is-more" approach which helps to lend an ominous air to the overall production. The music is also decently done, but a generic suspense film score.

Now for the not so good points. The pacing of this film is done in such a way that the skill of acting is severely lacking. The line delivery is very stunted and slowed down, as though there was an overall feeling that the dialogue wouldn't be heard unless they... speak... very... slowly (the news broadcast is one example that comes to mind). By doing this, there's just no energy or believability to anyone's performance. For a better idea of how this can be overcome, especially on such a low budget, I recommend watching Shane Carruth's "Primer". He opted for more naturalistic speech. This allowed the actors to come across as more authentic. The Rift also incorporates way too many lingering closeups of the actor's faces. M. Night Shyamalan also does this a LOT in his movies and it really detracts from his story-telling overall. In the Rift, it just highlights the inadequacy of the depth of the acting and serves to give an overall slowness to the film's story arc.

As for the script, there's just too much oddness that makes no sense. For example, the DARPA 'assassin' is this left-field character who doesn't really add anything overall and feels like it was shoe-horned in. Also, the fact that those who collected information about these 'anomalies' mysteriously disappeared also makes no sense. It implies there is a government conspiracy to end the world with monsters from another dimension. Why? What gain could there possibly be?

The overall concept of R.A.D.A.R. anomalies being a cause for alarm is also a hard idea to swallow. Another idea that feels like it was thrown in to attempt to create artificial tension. A deeper history of how and what these R.A.D.A.R. anomalies have done in the past would have helped a viewer understand why they would concern the main character as much as they did before all hell started to break loose.

Overall, this film is okay for a short. Visually, it's quite good, but that's really about it. Acting is sub-par and the story is thread-bare, containing an odd mesh of ideas that don't really coalesce into a cohesive and logical whole. It's quite possible that with a bit more experience/seasoning and a better grasp of plotting, we might be seeing Robert Kouba churn out some good sci-fi popcorn fare in the future. This film short is more of a meretricious effort.

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Impressive Debut

8/10
Author: SimplesVoice
29 October 2012

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to see a sneak viewing. If I'm honest I wasn't expecting a great deal as its a film from a fairly new studio and a very young director. Although Robert Kouba has won various awards in his youth for his directorial pieces, it never guarantees success on the big stage.

My skepticism was misplaced and I'm pleased to say I was very impressed with the Vantis Pictures debut. First thing to note is that this isn't a huge Hollywood feature, therefore we're not talking millions of dollars budget and so the acting isn't Oscar material but convincing enough to sell the story. The script is well paced and along with the films direction it builds up the suspense and interest nicely.

The score adds to the tension and the effects are amazing. There are so many cheap and nasty films on the Sci-fi channel with terrible alien/monsters produced by big studios, yet this movie puts them all to shame. The CGI blends seamlessly into the real scenery and you could almost be fooled into thinking its real.

The film demonstrates great maturity in film making for someone so young. With the experience Robert will get over the coming years and bigger budgets at his disposal you can't help but think we will be in store for some great story telling.

Great start to a career and a great movie to see. Well worth your time and effort.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Trouble with grading on a curve

5/10
Author: toddatthemovies from Hollywood
4 November 2012

I have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to screen The Rift. This is a Short Film debut release from the newly formed Vantis Pictures. The Director is Robert Kouba and his most ambitious project to date. The score I gave this film is a refection of the parts and it's "weight class". It's not fair to judge a debut micro budget short as if it was a major studio release. There is a lot to be excited about in general from Vantis Pictures and Robert Kouba.

First thing that struck me was the quality of the equipment used. The camera work was excellent and lighting too. These are little things new directors often do poorly on. The casting of Eileen Grubba was great, she was a stand out. The CGI and editing were also really strong points. Robert Kouba may be young, but he has a firm grasp of movie making mechanics. I expect big things from him in the future...along with big budgets comes big responsibility.

Now let's focus a little sharper on the issues I had with The Rift. You would think with the great equipment and skill level on the mechanics it would be a slam dunk winner. Unfortunately this is more of a calling card than a movie. More attention was put into the craftsmanship than the actual story. Outside of Grubba, the cast was sub par. For having such a small script (18-20 pages?) it wasn't very tight. Normally with new Directors the one thing in their control is the story and script and they lack the tools or skill. This is backwards. There was nothing new. The characters were stereotypes and the dialogue was hard to listen too. Even the really well done special effects were familiar, from 10 different movies.

In summary I think Robert Kouba is capable of making some really great films in his future, but I hope he puts as much effort in having something to say in his next movie as he does making it look good.

~Todd at the movies

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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Positive surprise

8/10
Author: Juho Vesanen
1 November 2012

I was also given a chance to see this movie in advance and I have to say I'm impressed. It's a good story with a pretty difficult subject to make it look believable, but Robert and his team have done a great job at it. The cinematography is very fluid and easy to the eye, grading and vfx are also very well executed.

Everything is done with good professional touch so you can't really notice that it had a pretty small budget, not a Hollywood product by any means. This is a difficult genre to produce a scenes that are not too tacky and "cheap", this being said, The Rift is a positive surprise. I believed every second of it!

To sum it up, I'd say it is a film you definitely should watch. The visual effects are well blended to the footage and the acting is good. When I first watched it I felt that I would want to see more, which is a good thing!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Reworking of The Mist

4/10
Author: hipower-1 from Canada
22 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert! Main character can't stop staring! Stares at the wall,stares in the distance and stares into the camera. He's a little stare bear. The production was amateurish,the music from 70's cop shows and the plot borrowed from Stephen King's "The Mist."To the good side the production values are decent,(better than SyFy)and everyone seems to be trying hard. Obviously the producer is looking for funding to extend this short film and if he changed some of the actors,(STARE!)and tidied it up a bit it could make a decent series. A good effort if it's coming out of a film school. I applaud them for what they got done for $20,000.This is the first time I have seen Robert Kouba's work as a director and I am impressed at what he achieved for so little money.All in all it won't hurt your eyes to watch it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Pity about the middle

5/10
Author: Snaggletooth . from United Kingdom
21 July 2013

I came across this short online so gave it a watch. It actually starts really well, fantastic titles, big orchestral music, and it seems to set up a promise of good things to come. Sadly this wasn't the case however. The middle is pretty bad I must say. Terrible acting, and I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a comedy or serious sci-fi.

If this had been a 90 minute movie I would surely have switched it off it was so bad halfway through, but knowing it was only 25 minutes I held in there. The ending actually wasn't too bad and I was impressed with the last frames showing that monstrous apocalyptic scene. This could have been so much better than this I have to say and with the current state of CGI anything is possible in creating fantastic alternate Universes. Maybe next time things will be better for this movie company.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Feels like something written to get funds

6/10
Author: mike-ryan455 from United States
20 July 2013

Do you remember District 9? Really killer flick. The director, Neill Blomkamp, did a short three years earlier titled Alive in Joburg to get backing for the full length feature.

No, The Rift isn't that good. But it kind of has that feel.

So, how was it? Plot novelty - eh. I wouldn't rate it that well.

Acting - the lead kid, Dean, not so hot. Actually I'd rate him as the worst of the bunch. He seemed pretty darn inexperienced and wasn't believable. His mother and the fat guy with the white tie were decent. The other kid in the diner wasn't as bad as Dean. I'd have had him do the lead.

Special effects - hey that's how stories are rated these days. Not that bad. Nothing outrageously fancy but not too bad.

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13 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

great film

10/10
Author: alpcenk from Turkey
18 November 2012

l don't understand IMDb ratings about this films l think they rate for different film which is awful and has the same name.l totally agree with SimplesVoice and his following reviews,I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to see a sneak viewing. If I'm honest I wasn't expecting a great deal as its a film from a fairly new studio and a very young director. Although Robert Kouba has won various awards in his youth for his directorial pieces, it never guarantees success on the big stage.

My skepticism was misplaced and I'm pleased to say I was very impressed with the Vantis Pictures debut. First thing to note is that this isn't a huge Hollywood feature, therefore we're not talking millions of dollars budget and so the acting isn't Oscar material but convincing enough to sell the story. The script is well paced and along with the films direction it builds up the suspense and interest nicely.

The score adds to the tension and the effects are amazing. There are so many cheap and nasty films on the Sci-fi channel with terrible alien/monsters produced by big studios, yet this movie puts them all to shame. The CGI blends seamlessly into the real scenery and you could almost be fooled into thinking its real.

The film demonstrates great maturity in film making for someone so young. With the experience Robert will get over the coming years and bigger budgets at his disposal you can't help but think we will be in store for some great story telling.

Great start to a career and a great movie to see. Well worth your time and effort.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

if only...

8/10
Author: ruth beckey from Australia
23 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

wow,this little movie....my main thing I want to say..i wish it could have kept going... I understand the budget reasons...but that movie was a winner. you don't get many fantasy horror movies much anymore..and they are my favourite....few and far between...because I think audiences demand reality and answers to every question about the plot...about why6 this and that happened ...but with fantasy horror or sci-fi..it relies on imagination.....it needs to be able to grab the audience into the world the makers wanted you to see....I don't think it was like Stephen kings the mist....but the film is much shorter than the mist also...it had so much potential to me..... still its also a good short film......more monster movies please!!!!!!!!!!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great!

8/10
Author: Alex Vojacek from San Luis, Argentina
22 July 2013

Oh man, why so short !

This movie is incredible. Believe me, you can forgive some of the performances, you can forgive little nuances and then you can enjoy an incredible well directed end of the world.

The rift tells a story about a young guy helping a "scientist" scan anomalies in the satellite system.

The first few minutes are very well spend introducing the characters, no more than it is needed and then the catastrophe.

The scenery is very good, the special effects are incredible considering the budget and the way the movie is handled is incredible for such a short movie.

Only 25 minutes of your life you WILL remember, yes we all had seen this before but, somehow this is worth watching it.

Although the movie ends in the mother of all cliffhangers you will appreciate what it's been done here, wish more movies were built like this.

No 1 hour 30 minutes of cheesy dialog, just 25 minutes of focused end of the world, yeah baby!

Go see it, you wont regret it although you will want Rift 2.

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