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September 2011

The Rig

cast: William Forsythe, Art LaFleur, Serah D'Laine, Scott Martin, and Stacey Hinnen

director: Peter Atencio

90 minutes (15) 2010
widescreen ratio 16:9
Kaleidoscope DVD Region 2

RATING: 5/10
review by Matthew S. Dent

The Rig

At first glance, The Rig appears to be a low budget, direct-to-DVD horror film. And that, really, is exactly what it is. But I don't mean that as the insult or criticism that it might be. Because, bucking a trend of similar films, I actually rather liked it. The Rig is set on an offshore oil rig, which is evacuated when a whopper storm threatens to hit. A few of the crew stay behind to make sure everything is safe, and become prey to what I can only describe as the creature from the black lagoon.

Which sound ridiculous, but if you take it as it is then it's quite entertaining. The acting quality isn't Hollywood, but nobody phones it in, and these are quite clearly people with some acting talent. The visual effects seem to follow the same lines: simple, and effective. It manages to go most of the film without even showing us the monster, beyond teeth and claws.

So what we end up with is a familiar plot, where the trapped and frightened characters are bumped off one by one by their friendly neighbourhood man-eating monster. It's not going to surprise anyone, but that isn't the point of a film like this. Yes, it's stupid when they split up to hunt for the damn thing, but if that turns you completely off the film then you're missing the point.

It's daft, but I liked it. There were problems with it, though, naturally. The needless shower sex scene could have been done without - there were more than enough hints that those two characters were 'an item', without a bit of irrelevant pornography that didn't even serve as the build up for a monster attack.

But the biggest problem, by far, is the ending. It follows the formula well throughout, making an unoriginal but entertaining film. And then they decided to tack a bit onto the end, a coda which made no sense, and for me crossed the line between 'mad but fun' and 'what is this bollocks?'

It's worth a shot, definitely. If you encounter it at the DVD rental shop or (as I suspect is more likely), on the SyFy Channel in the small hours of the morning, then you could do worse than to waste an hour and a half with this film.



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