The Rig (2011)
While drilling for oil, the crew of the The Rig’s rig accidentally bore into a dodgy section of sea bed releasing a load of purple stuff. And something with rather a lot of long and pointy teeth. Coincidentally a big ol’ storm rolls in and isolates the cast just as the man-in-a-fish-monster-suit starts picking them off one by one. Sucks to be them. Actually it sucks to be you, if you’re planning on watching The Rig – it doesn’t strike oil, it just unleashes a geyser of fail.
The makers of The Rig have pulled the classic bait and switch of getting a name actor in to dampen your gusset and get you interested; until you watch the film and discover they’re only in said film for a handful of scenes – a day’s work at best. Well prepare your panties to not get too damp as The Rig hasn’t got Danny (fucking) Trejo or Lance Henriksen, it’s scored William Forsythe (that big guy with the intimidating voice who was in The Rock and Deuce Bigelow – where he kept getting his dick out).
Big Bill Forsythe hefts his serviceable Hollywood character actor chops onto the rig and proceeds to chew not just the scenery, but the rest of the amateur hour cast, before he gets Deep Blue Sea’d. Once bereft of Forsythe things get lame and the performances become embarrassing. The feuding brothers are laughable, though the older one is marginally better – perhaps it was the beard… Apart from a black, comic book reading geek (clearly DEAD) and a feisty Latino lass who tries for Vasquez but comes off as a nag, the rest of the cast are made up of interchangeable bearded fellas that have so little screen presence you can’t tell one from the other. The Captain’s daughter is the only one who looks like she belongs on screen, partly due to being lucky enough to resemble Mary Elizabeth Winstead. A couple of times. In a certain light. Though any hopes she had of impressing in this are dashed when she has to start having long flashbacks to a scene that occurred less than five minutes ago.
“We don’t care about the acting, films like this are just about the kills and gore”. Oh, are they? Well prepare yourself for more disappointment – The Rig can’t do that right either. The kill sequences are all identikit, with the monster scurrying about behind the victim leaving you fighting to suppress shouts of “he’s behind you!” Once the creature does attack, you get a flail of hands and claws ending in a cut to a splash of blood hitting something in the background.
The monster itself is mostly a monster suit, but it looked like they’re may have been a smidge of CG in there too. The suit isn’t bad – it’s very wisely barely seen in full and nicely slimy. I thought it was supposed to be some kind of deep sea thing awoken by being drilled into, so I’m a little unclear as to how it 1) has legs and b) can breathe… go figure. The production don’t seem sure either, black-blatantly-a-dead-man-comic-book-guy says that it’s a chupacabra – whatever that is, I can’t be arsed to googl… fine, it’s a small bear with spines down it’s back. THAT makes even less sense.
It’s not all bad! Well, almost all bad. But the score is really good. Composed by Bruce L. Fowler with a full, real orchestra, he channels James Horner and thanks Hans Zimmer in the credits. There are also a few laughs to be had. Some unintentional, thanks to the un-sexiest shower shag ever and some on purpose, like the discovery of a crew members stash of (literal) gun porn.
The only other saving grace is a rather strange last ten minutes. Taking place after when most movies of this sort would end: the death of the monster and/or the rescue of the survivors; the last shred of the film sees the youngest of the feuding brothers return to the rig with the chap in charge of the drilling operation. Though the kills themselves were throwaway deaths of characters you didn’t give a jot for, seeing their relatives walking ’round the kill sites is very creepy and adds a smidge of pathos. It’s the first original thing The Rig does, and it’s definitely the best.
There’s little to recommend The Rig, it’s a pig of a film and the DVD’s menu packs more suspense. I’m awarding a skull for William Forsythe, one for the score and another for the odd final ten minutes. See it for free, if you must, but don’t give anyone any money for this.