Noomi Rapace turns in an impressive physical performance as Renee, a woman snatched away from her home life and teen son by a mysterious group of people.
She is taken to a compound where she is forced to face her greatest fear, but instead of being subjected to the usual torture-porn scenarios, a smart screenplay by Steven Shainberg and Brian Nelson cannily subverts the usual tropes.
Though things get off to a slightly uneven start with a clumsy revelation that Renee suffers from arachnophobia, but Rupture is worth persevering with as it turns into a tense, claustrophobic and strange experience.
Stuffed in the back of a truck by two men, you fear the worst for Renee, but instead a new character appears in the form of a woman who goes by the name of Nyman. The film allows you to relax for a minute before once again forcing you to bite your nails in anticipation as Nyman shackles Renee by her foot and slowly removes her jeans.
Lesley Manville as Nyman is a sinister and disturbing presence who doesn’t reveal any emotion as she moves her hostage around. At times you may wish the film was purely these two interacting with one another thanks to the entertaining nature of their performances.
On arrival at her prison, Renee is harnessed to a gurney and left to sweat it out. She’s given vague clues as to why she is there, but nothing is revealed until later on. There are hints of Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs behind some of the smart ideas broached in the film regarding enlightenment, but instead of severe beatings, Renee has spiders forced onto her.
A particularly wince-inducing moment involves a helmet where the arthropods crawl all over her face. In between her torture sessions, Renee unshackles herself to secretly wander the clinical compound, which unfortunately reduces the intoxicating ambience.
Considering Brian Nelson penned Hard Candy and Steven Shainberg directed Secretary, you may be expecting something more nerve shredding or packed full of emotional heft. However, this effort feels a little tame in comparison to their previous endeavours.