Rage (Christopher R. Witherspoon) 2010 Review

Rage Movie Reviewby Jesse Miller, MoreHorror.com

While taking care of some personal business in town, namely ending an affair with a co-worker, troubled and struggling writer Dennis (Rick Crawford) comes to blows with a mysterious, silent and masked biker.

At first these blows are harmless encounters but as the day goes on and these two cross each other’s paths again on several different occasions, these frustrating encounters escalate into something far more sinister – and Dennis soon finds himself being relentlessly hunted throughout town. Who is this mysterious biker that speaks not a word in the film -nor reveals the face behind the mask? The Ex-boyfriend of the lady Dennis ended the affair with? Or is it a manifestation of Dennis’s rising guilt?

Rage is Writer/Director Christopher R. Witherspoon’s second feature and on top of writing and directing here, he skilfully and impressively acts as both Editor and cinematographer. The end result is a frenetic, brutal and absolutely gut-wrenching suspense-horror-thriller that slams on the accelerator and never lets up till the end credits.

Witherspoon adds to the pot all the hallmarks of a good old fashioned and energetic cat-and-mouse thriller while the aforementioned questions above sits with the audience, making for a hugely satisfying character-driven psychological thriller.

Rick Crawford brings to life the unfaithful and troubled Dennis and beautifully carries the majority of the film. Despite his infidelity, you really do feel for the guy and along the course of the film, you hope he makes it out of this nightmare alive. There is a heartfelt scene in the film where Dennis is sitting around his home quietly, just watching TV, while the brilliant musical score by Colin Simon swells, and you realizes just how much he feels remorse and just how much he does love his wife and this life – it is quite touching.

As the Biker, Witherspoon impressively brings a lot of menace to the role, both when on-screen and behind the camera and the use of silence a faceless, relentless blank, black biker mask here is very disquieting.

Collin Simon’s brilliant and effective musical score is another of my personal highlights, as its different musical motifs lift a scene or action or even the underlying theme of the film, beautifully complimenting the film’s horror, drama and suspense perfectly.

In it’s final half hour, Rage escalates from psychological cat-and-mouse thriller to a chaotic, blood-soaked slasher film and it’s here where Witherspoon pulls out all the stops, lays all his cards on the table and lets rip, crafting one hell of an exciting climax.

My one problem with this piece is the revelation behind the biker – it’s a jarring shift of tone that feels completely out of place with the horror and gore that came before. In my opinion, it would’ve worked wonders without this little moment – but that’s all I’m going to say.

Rage is a testament to what you can achieve on a miniscule budget - Witherspoon’s feature is an exciting, brutal horror-thriller, fuelled by an excellent score, a talented cast and a gifted and creative crew – I don’t know about you, but I’ll sure be keeping an eye out for Christopher R. Witherspoon in the years to come.

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