Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Serah D’Laine, William Forsythe, Art LaFleur, Marcus T. Paulk, Stacey Hinnen, Carmen Perez
Directed by Peter Atencio
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
I didn’t expect The Rig to reinvent the wheel. It would have been nice if it had at least tried to rotate the tires.
The Rig is about as bland and generic a modern monster movie as you will likely ever see. An offshore oil rig unleashes a humanoid monster from beneath the ocean floor that gets aboard and stalks the crew of roughnecks during a tropical storm that prevents them from simply evacuating. Some superficial dramatic tropes of sibling rivalry, father-daughter tension, and employee romance are paid lip service to, but, in the end, it all boils down to lifeless characters either standing around waiting to get jumped by the monster or roaming about what looks like the same hallways over and over or huddled together trying to stay alive. That’s all, folks.
There was a TV movie made back in 1981 called The Intruder Within that had this exact same plot and still bothered to toss in a few plot twists along the way. There was even an episode of “Baywatch Nights” that saw David Hasselhoff trapped on an oil rig battling a green blob that employed more ingenuity than The Rig.
There’s nothing wrong with a monster movie plot this remedial if you actually make something out of it. But The Rig doesn’t strive for camp value or nostalgia, doesn’t deliver any creative or ultra gory kills, and it certainly isn’t scary. It does nothing but go through the Alien motions as coldly, lethargically as possible. Where’s the fun? Certainly not in the lengthy stretches of characters slowly walking about corridors without an ounce of suspense. Certainly not in the clumsily staged monster attacks edited in such a manner to try and obscure the rubber monster suit even when it is front and center on the screen. Certainly not in the squandering of two underappreciated tough guy character actors, William Forsythe and Art LaFleur, in thankless, nothing-to-it roles.
The thing I appreciated most about The Rig and had me looking forward to watching it is that the monster is a man in a rubber suit instead of computer effects. I get the sense that someone involved was less than enthused about the use of old school suitmation in a movie clearly shot with an HD camera given how hard the editing tries to keep us from getting a good, long look at the monster. For better or worse, that rubber suit is part of the fun. But, again, The Rig is no fun at all.
Worse yet, the script doesn’t appear at all interested in its own monster. You could replace this black Sleestak-meets-chupacabra creature with a retard in a hockey mask armed with a machete and it would not have made that big a difference. The creature’s habit of easily ambushing people, unimaginatively biting and clawing them to death, is all there is to it. None of the characters ever display any curiosity about the nature of this beast outside of one line in which someone deduces that it kills because it enjoys it. There should always be some intrigue surrounding the monster in a monster movie. There should be more of a hook to it than the curvature of its claws.
And yet four people are credited with the screenplay. It took four people to write this.
Director Peter Atencio doesn’t help matters by relying too heavily on a repetitive score that instead of underscoring the tension becomes an intrusive presence that’s drowsy, droning musical cues further suck the energy out of scenes already starved for signs of life. Not to mention often being so loud as to drown out dialogue and sound effects, too. Not that anyone ever really say anything really worth listening to.
1 out of 5
Discuss The Rig in the space below!