As many readers recall my views on remakes are often negative, however one should clarify this a bit, if you tell the same story without any variation then its dull Psycho  and an uninviting viewing of The Wicker Man , but if one takes the time to change many aspects then a new story can be told. For example, look at the stories of vampires namely ‘Dracula’ all the different veins puncture spurting new stories in warm rich crimson blood, they all come from the same source material but many of the films tell it slightly differently, even the main story contains a retelling with moderation twists. This all brings us to Rabid … No one is taking anything away from David Cronenberg’s 1977 version, it remains a classic but The Soska sisters didn’t do an exact remake rather took the storyline, made alterations, trimming and tucking, sewing new segments into the story and the approach works well for them and the film for the viewers. What really finds an interesting standpoint to the movie, is located behind the scenes, namely from the producer Paul Lalonde, well-known for his Christian films, including Left Behind: The Movie, so a film like this is a big switch from his previous creations. Hence, Jen and Sylvia Soska, worked as co-directors and co-writers with John Serge, and brought aspects of the #MeToo Movement into the storyline, thereby changing the atmosphere of the storyline and the violent background to the foreground, while women stand-up for themselves rather than playing a subservient character in a man’s world.
In this version, Rose (Laura Vandervoort (Jigsaw )) is meek, very much an introverted personality an aspiring fashion designer working for a renowned fashion mogul Gunter (Mackenzie Gray (Grave Encounters )); while her adoptive sister and closest friend Chelsea (Hanneke Talbot (Ready or Not )), a model working at the same firm, helps her emerge from her shell by manipulating a date with Brad (Benjamin Hollingsworth), a fashion photographer, Rose’s secret crush. It’s when she overhears two models (The Soska Sisters) on a bathroom break at the posh club she learns the truth about Brad and discovers her horrible nickname “Scarface” they laugh about her losing her whole family as they snort coke. The entire set-up in Carrie  is similar to that of when Sue has Tommy ask Carrie to the prom, that doesn’t turn out well, one could do something very eerily like that with this scenario. The humiliation causes her to flee on her motor scooter, perhaps due to tears or anger and she has a horrific accident, which causes ghastly disfigurement, it’s here she learns of her condition and meets an unsympathetic Dr. Keloid (Stephen McHattie (Pay the Ghost )). It’s a wonderful building suspense segment, as the bandages slowly unravel, the worrisome look her friend Chelsea faces, it works to a perfect crescendo of the scene. An experimental plastic surgeon, Dr William Burroughs (Ted Atherton (Trench 11 )) reaches out to Rose, after contacted by Dr. Keloid that presents a video about Transhumanism, that free medical in exchange for research, the operating procedure appears is if out of David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers . She has transformed into a beautiful woman without any blemishes, that makes nearly recognizable to even her best friend, and this aided by The Soska Sisters, by giving her character empowerment and control of what she desires the most. After one of her sexual escapades, with soap opera star Dominic, he has a growing hunger rage builds with him and leader to a bloody attack shocking the set director, harming Trent thoroughly well executed in chaos inducing moment. In addition, Tristan Risk (Nurse Dana) truly lose part herself in her minor role, but the infection spreads like wildfire, generating plenty of body horror and blood splatter; as does Lynn Lowry with her sliver of screen time as the William’s wife. Rose’s power slowly starts draining due to her vivid situations forming during the night, but there’re dismiss by the institute as intense nightmarish delusions. there’s an interesting aspect when watching this film post pandemic world, the terms issue by health and CDC advisors, but staying inside, away from crowds, it was like reliving the warnings.
Special makeup effects were conducted by Steve Kostanski (The Void ) who also served as creature creator, the outbreak was clearly and heavily updated, with more gory details, all aided wonderfully by choice lighting. The character choices were hit and miss, for example Tristan Risk has too small of a role for someone of her caliber, and then Atherton as Burroughs is comforting, but later removes his mask to reveal his Mr. Hyde while McHattie as Keloid is thoroughly uncaring, might as well just shrug his shoulders throughout his entire performance. Lastly Vandervot, does a great job of portraying the fashion industry with regard to the false admiration and yet understanding that the clothes worn are the armor and the designs are one’s claws.
IMDb Rating: 5.2/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10