'Rage', Showmax's first original horror movie tells a gripping story
If you're looking for a list of scary movies to stream during the 21-day lockdown, worry not.
Showmax is streaming "Rage", its first original horror movie, which tells the gripping story of a group of school-leavers who travel to a small tiny coastal town to celebrate their new-found freedom.
Roxy, Sihle, Kyle, Leon, Tamsyn and Neo party on the beach and drink themselves silly every night. As the story unfolds the group meet among others a 70-something Hermien, who is highly pregnant. In one of the creepiest moments, the friends witness a disturbing birth ritual. Soon weirder things start to appear at random places and what is supposed to be the best holiday turns to be a nightmare these teenagers never anticipated.
Starring Nicole Fortuin ("Flatland") and Jane de Wet ("The Girl From St Agnes"), with multi-award-winning theatre practitioner Jaco Bouwer at the helm as the director, this teen horror film promises a series of frightening moments that will keep you on the edge of your couch during the self quarantine period.
We caught up with Rage’s screenwriter Tertius Kapp, who gave us an insight into the film.
Tell us about the inspiration behind "Rage"?
The thinking behind the storyline was to create a parallel with older rituals - seasonal pagan ceremonies, fertility festivals, saturnalia and juvenalia - the sort of things modern hippies and spiritual collectives often re-animate.
If you look back at something like the "Rage" festival in a few hundred years, it will have the same cultural value. And of course, it invites rituals surrounding virginity, fertility, intoxication and the like - in a word, Rage. Films like "Wicker Man" and "Midsommar" definitely served as inspiration here. It is almost an obvious choice to combine the annual South African matric holiday in seaside towns, called 'Rage' with the classic teen horror film.
What makes this film stand out taking into consideration that it’s the first original Showmax horror film?
Thrill, suspense, anticipation, expectations and shock! "Rage" is the horror trope we know, with a lot of innovation. We think it truly stands out in terms of its beautiful visual language and cinematography, it's brilliant cast, its contemporary representation of South African youth and of course, in the inversion of the happy African summer holiday we've come to expect.
What did you enjoy most about the making of this film?
The casting was an exciting process - these days one mostly has to work with actors filming themselves at home, and you only meet face to face on the day of the first read through. Sometimes that is not a positive meeting, but in this case, it was a delight, great team and great spirits.
There was a lot of craziness around filming some of the rituals and 'big scenes' - the sort of crazy you can look back on with a smile, but in the moment, it's terrifying.
What do you think the audience will enjoy most about the film?
"Rage" presents a non-traditional horror style, which we hope they find refreshing. It is much brighter and more visually striking than your typical slasher. T
here is some subtle socio political commentary worked in, and a bit of play with the conventions of the genre, without straying from the expectations of the audience. A special mention can be made of the exceptional score composed by Pierre-Henri Wicomb.
Why is horror the genre South Africa needs now?
I don't think horror is specifically the genre South Africa needs, it's just a genre that works.
Perhaps it is because we all understand fear. If you look into it more deeply, it's a genre that lends itself to a semi-serious representation of a world we recognise, without getting lost in sentiment or the demands of happy conclusions.
Kapp is an award winning South African writer. He works mainly in film and theatre, where his work is well-known for its unflinching approach to challenging subject matter.
He is best known for the film adaptation of the bestseller "Dis ek, Anna", a gut-wrenching story of a young woman who avenges her stepfather after suffering years of sexual abuse.
*"Rage" is currently streaming on Showmax.