Spring has come and with it tradition and rites that need to be adhered to in order for order to be kept. This is the basic premise behind Rites of Spring (2011) a better than expected monster film that fuses the gangster film with the horror film in surprisingly original ways.
Written and directed by Padraig Reynolds the film has two parallel storylines. One follows four criminals whose kidnapping goes south and the second storyline follows two women who are abducted by a man who has a nefarious objective that involves a monster hidden in a hole in the barn. When the kidnappers stumble upon one of the captured women all hell breaks loose and everyone finds themselves being hunted down by a creature that none of them understands.
The reason why the film works is because it has a very simply premise that is not hampered down by a complicated plot and although there is a complicated mythology surrounding the creature in the film very little time is spent explaining it. At a brisk running time of only 80 minutes the film is a roller coaster ride from beginning to end and horror fans should not be dismayed by the gangster-kidnapping story as Reynolds does a great job of balancing the two very different story threads.
What also elevates this film above other indie horror films is the better than expected cast headlined by the always dependable AJ Bowen (of The Signal and You’re Next) and Reynolds direction of the material. This is a film much better than expected and will not disappoint horror fans.