Rig, The (2010)

The Rig (2010)

Some things shouldn’t be disturbed.

As a ferocious storm rages outside, a small group of experienced crew members on a oil drilling rig settle down to ride it out. Isolated on the rig, their world is turned upside down when one of them goes missing and an extensive search proves futile. They discover that a deadly creature has somehow made its way onto the rig and is stalking and killing the crew off one-by-one.

 

Call it The Rig or better yet, call it The Film You’ve Seen a Thousand Times Before and Will No Doubt See a Thousand Times Again. Straight from the book of how to make generic monster movies, The Rig sets itself up for failure right from the start with a well-worn story, low budget effects and general sense of ‘why did they bother to make it?’ I can’t be too harsh on the film because it wasn’t terrible. But I’d pretty much forgotten everyone’s names and what was going on about twenty minutes in. Even writing this review a few days later is hard because it was so generic and so unmemorable that I’m not sure whether I’m making things up that I thought I saw!

The Rig is competent but that’s about it. It’s virtually ninety minutes of people either standing around talking and waiting for a monster to kill them or said people walking around corridors looking for the monster to kill them. There’s nothing wrong with films recycling the formula into whatever they like if they at least try and make it stand out from the rest. Throw in some outrageous gore. Make it a comedy horror. Hire some really famous has-beens and throw them all into the mixer. Wink at your audience. Do anything different! Unfortunately The Rig does none of those things and is content to play it safe. Actually playing it safe doesn’t do the film justice – it doesn’t even give itself chance to play for fear of getting hurt in the process.

Take the setting for instance. It was filmed on location at Mr Charlie, a former deep sea oil rig now used as a training facility. Despite this, there’s no atmosphere whatsoever. You’d have thought the sprawling mass of corridors, rooms, gangways, ladders and platforms would allow plenty of suspense to be built up. But no, there’s diddly squat.

The monster is seen in spits and spurts for the majority so you won’t get an overly long look at it. But I’ll give the film props for using make-up effects for the most instead of relying on a CGI creation. You can ‘feel’ the creature during the scenes in which it attacks its victims. These scenes are edited so badly in an attempt hide the creature’s blatantly obvious visual weaknesses but as a result, they end up clumsy and rushed. In fact there’s so little going on with the monster apart from the attacks that the film could have worked just as well with a guy in a mask doing the killing. The characters don’t care where it came from or what it wants. They surmise that it enjoys killing and that it can be killed – and that’s it. No hints about where it came from or what it is. The attack scenes are brief and usually consist of the same sequence of events: creature sneaks up on victim, grabs hold of them and then kills them off-screen. Thus the gore is also lacking. There’s a bit of blood and a few slashings but nothing to get worked up about. Oh, and the creature is not a huge toothy monster ready to swallow the rig up as it shows on the front cover but more like a lizard-man ala Creature From the Black Lagoon.

Once again I’ll use the word competent because the actors are just that. They’re not terrible, give decent performances and such but you won’t care for any of them. Such is the thinly-written nature of their characters that there’s little characterization to them barring standard stereotype. They’re just hollow, derivative characters with no life or soul at all. Attempts to throw in some sub-plots about sibling rivalry and a romantic part just fall flat and eat valuable screen time from monster-munching moments. It’s a shallow ploy to inject some dramatization and sentiment into the film but it’s unnecessary since they’re both forgotten about as soon as the monster starts killing off the crew.

William Forsythe ‘stars’ and I use that term mildly since he’s hardly in it and when he’s on screen, both his gut and his tash take up most of the screen. Forsythe can be intense when he needs to be but this script doesn’t throw him a bone at all and gives him the role of head foreman or whatever he’s supposed to be (ie. the boss). Token black guys, tough Latino chicks and lone wolf soldiers make up the rest of the crew so be prepared for the usual clichés.

 

The Rig isn’t anything special nor is it anything atrocious. It’s just…….well….it’s just there. Kudos to the team for using real make-up effects and a suited-up stuntman for the creature because it really makes a difference. But that’s about the only thing I’ll remember about this. Never want to see it again but not for any particular reason other than I’ll no doubt be watching the same film over-and-over again in many years to come with the endless supply of ‘creature on the loose in a confined space’ horror flicks.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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