Latest SA horror flicks quite the rage
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Cape Town – It was an entertaining week for South African horror fans with the release of two local films.
Rage and Parable, the first original movies produced by streaming service Showmax, are now available.
Rage is about a group of teenagers who visit a coastal town to celebrate their matriculation, only to find the residents rather strange.
After taking drugs and witnessing a disturbing ritual, their holiday becomes a living nightmare as each is killed off.
Jane de Wet appears in both films, playing Roxy in Rage. “She’s a bit of a goodie-two shoes,” De Wet said.
“But she’s reached a place in her life where she just wants to let go of those feelings of being contained for far too long and playing by the rules, and just wants to break free and find a new identity for herself that isn’t rooted in school norms and conventions and where she’s afraid to be unapologetically herself.”
“There was such good chemistry from the very start among all the actors,” she added. “We’re around the same age, between 20 and 30, and some of us have worked together before. I think that carried us through. We had each other’s back. There was a lot of improv and a lot of fun."
In Parable, De Wet stars as Esther, a young girl forced into gay conversion therapy but when a famous preacher accidentally conjures a demon inside of her, he hides her in a church.
“Horror is such an interesting genre to explore in South Africa, so a lot of people are intrigued by the concept,” she said.
“For Rage, a lot of people have told me that they’re very impressed by the production and photography.”
De Wet, though, isn't worried about being typecast: “It has been a trend, yes, but I don’t feel like these are like caricature characters at all. Every character in their respective productions has been very layered, very complex.”
Jaco Bouwer, who directed Rage, added: “For horror movie enthusiasts, 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. There 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.
“We draw a comparison between the matric holiday in seaside towns phenomenon and older rights of passage like fertility rituals.
"In that enormous-present-without-past-or-future, the youth drink like fish and mate like rabbits, experimenting with drugs, with a fluidity of gender and sex," he said.
"In this bacchanalian allegory of enjoying life as if tomorrow doesn’t exist and the real death drive of sexual pleasure (and) where the old literally feed on the young, (it) makes for a cross-genre tongue-in-the-cheek horror wink.”
Bouwer made a name for himself making the short film This Country Is Lonely, which debuted at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018.
He also worked on Die Spreeus, one of the 10 most-watched local series on Showmax last year.