Advertisements

Rites of Spring (2011)

rites of spring

A ransom scheme turns into a nightmare for a group of kidnappers who become victims of a horrifying secret that must be paid every spring.

Directed by Padraig Reynolds on his feature film debut, Rites of Spring stars AJ Bowen, Anessa Ramsey, Sonny Marinelli, Katherine Randolf, Marco St. John, Hannah Bryan, Sarah Pachelli, James Bartz, Shanna Forestall, Skylar Burke, and Andrew Breland.

The film opens in a similar vein to movies such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with some title cards informing us that back in 1984, several teenagers vanished without a trace. No bodies were ever found. However, no sooner had these unexplained disappearances begun, than they stopped. Until the following year, when the cycle started again. This pattern of disappearances has continued for 24 years.

rites of spring

Rites of Spring is a strange film, almost two different movies playing at once that then collide together towards the end. I actually liked this approach, at least they tried something different with it. One plot is about a group of kidnappers who abduct the daughter of a wealthy socialite and hide out in an abandoned school in the middle of the woods. But feelings of guilt soon overtake the kidnappers, dividing the group and putting their entire plan in jeopardy. The evening further spirals out of control when their poorly chosen hideout becomes a hunting ground for a mysterious creature that requires springtime ritualistic sacrifices. The creature is led to the hideout courtesy of the films second running plot. This involves a farmer who has abducted two girls & is keeping them tied up inside his barn, whereupon he tortures them and drains them of some blood. The blood is taken and thrown into a hidden basement/lair for the films creature which at this point we only catch the briefest glimpse of. Eventually one of the girls escapes and manages to reach the school and coincidentally bumps into the hostage situation. The action then gets ramped up as the creature has followed her and now has more victims to pray on.

rites of spring

Rites of Spring is very reminiscent of Jeepers Creepers, from the creature down to a chase through some cornfields. Even some sacrificial people on crosses. Then I read that the director was helped out by Victor Salva who directed the Jeepers Creepers films and this influence and help clearly shows. Not in a bad rip-off way either, this film really stands on its on two feet and tries to carve its own niche in the genre.

It is a low-budget film, and yet looks way better than I expected it would. The director really did a fine job and delivers a crisp, fun and clever film. Mixing together two genres was a risk but it paid off well here. Acting wise, AJ Bowen as the kidnapper just trying to get some money without hurting anyone and Anessa Ramsey, the girl who escapes the farmers clutches, are the standout performers. The others are a mixed bag, a couple were average at best but overall definitely better acting standards than in most low-budget horror.

rites of spring

The creature (or Wormface as he is referred to in the credits) comes across as a mixture of genre bad guys, he certainly looks creepy enough and armed with some tools for slashing and cutting his victims he is a welcome addition to the genre. According to reports from some festivals he spoke at, the director is hoping to make a trilogy based on this creature, so hopefully we will get more back story in the future. There were a few unanswered questions and a scene after the credits so again I look forward to seeing a continuation in this story.

rites of spring

Whilst there is some blood and violence, a beheading, limbs chopped off and a few people hacked up, there is nothing to be to squeamish about. Rites of Spring seemed to be going for a stronger story rather than just be gory for the sake of it, and the end result is a decent, suspense filled horror film that I hope people check out when it’s released later in the year.

stars

Advertisements
Previous Post
Leave a comment

29 Comments

  1. theipc

     /  July 19, 2012

    What? What is this? This sounds great and AJ Bowen is wicked. Where did you get a hold of this?

    Like

    Reply
    • Not that I am promoting piracy as it is wrong, but I was sent a copy a friend downloaded. Its available on torrent sites apparently. :(……Anyway it is a good film, and as I doubt many will have heard of it hopefully I can point people in the direction of it when it ever comes out. Will be on ‘Video on Demand’ in the States soon, but no idea about rest of world. Don’t think it is getting a theatrical run, straight to home video and dvd. Shame, as it was a good film. Hope you manage to catch it somehow 🙂

      Like

      Reply
    • ajbowen

       /  July 21, 2012

      why thank you, thank you kindly. cheers!

      Like

      Reply
      • I’m really hoping this is THE AJ Bowen 🙂 The link checks out…….Dude I am humbled you posted on this site, and whether its real or not I’m claiming it is 🙂 Thank you and keep up the awesome work!

        Like

        Reply
        • ajbowen

           /  July 21, 2012

          thank you so much man-I can’t imagine anyone would pretend to be me-I’d hope they’d be imitating someone FAR more interesting! thank you for the kind words, and support. means the world to me. cheers! xo!
          (really aj)
          {here, I can prove it. check my twitter in about 3 minutes. I’m there under LenHamhock.}

          Like

        • Easily the greatest comment this site will ever get. I’m going to pin it to my homepage 🙂 If you want to do a quote and say it’s the greatest horror blog you have ever seen I’ll pin that there too! Haha I might just do that anyway……….

          That tweet fucking rocks, taken several copies of that 🙂

          Loved Horrible Way To Die btw, and cant wait to see You’re Next. I’ll stop kissing ass like a fanboy now. Thanks for visiting my humble site and I hope the few comments I get on here about you and your movie at least make up for the fact I saw a dodgy screener copy. I can’t wait to see a proper version, whenever that may be. Cheers AJ, you have made my week!

          Like

      • theipc

         /  July 21, 2012

        whaaaaaaaaaat?? How about that : ) Dude – I love your work. The Signal is one of my favorite movies – you guys were hilariously awesome. Can’t wait for this.

        Like

        Reply
  2. Sounds like a great film. I want to see it.

    Like

    Reply
  3. This sounds really great! And I liked Jeepers Creepers (mostly cause the end scene freaked me out and that’s hard to do). Plus I love the double plot lines going on here. Part “Lottery”, part thriller.

    Like

    Reply
    • Yeah the original Jeepers Creepers was great, second one not so much. The split stories in this was a nice touch,i was pleasantly surprised how well they tied together and it all worked out.

      Like

      Reply
  4. Now I want to watch it! Never heard of it before this,, nice sell.

    Like

    Reply
    • Thanks Joss. Let me know what you think if you do catch it. I reckon it will do well when released on home video and dvd.

      Like

      Reply
  5. AJ Bowen is in a few nice little horror movies. The Signal and A Horrible Way to Die are both really good, and some parts of your description for this movie remind me of The Signal. It also has two plot lines with different tones that converge at the end. I hope this one comes to Netflix or Amazon or something down the road so I can check it out.

    Like

    Reply
    • Haven’t seen The Signal, will have to look that up. AJ Bowen has only gone and commented on this very site! He will love your comment I’m sure 🙂 I’m sure this is coming to video on demand very soon, Im trying to find a date. The director has confirmed to me on twitter (look at me, mixing with the famous) that a sequel is coming very soon. Very excited to see that.

      Like

      Reply
  6. I might have to seek this one out!

    Like

    Reply
  7. This sounds interesting. I’ll definitely check it out. =]

    Like

    Reply
    • Cheers Franz, hope you like it! 🙂

      Like

      Reply
      • Seriously, the last 40 minutes was scary. It really excels with chase scenes. I love the Rachel character. She’s such a badass. I hope there’s a sequel. =S

        Like

        Reply
        • Yeah really amped up the scares and tension towards the end! The director told me on Twitter the sequel is coming sooner rather than later, and will answer questions 🙂 Personally I can’t wait!

          Like

  1. Head In A Vice Newsletter #1 | Head In A Vice
  2. Question Time VII (Part 3) – Your Blogging Highlights | Head In A Vice
  3. ISAACS INTERVIEWS A. J. BOWEN | Isaacs Picture Conclusions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements