Movie Review - Rift (Rökkur)
Thoroddsen is neither Lovecraftian or metaphorical, although there has got to be something symbolic about having a scene where a gay man literally has to hide in a closet. Yes, it's reminiscent of many horror films with similar scenes dating back to the iconic Halloween (1978). For gay men, however, being "in the closet" is an expression denoting the act of hiding one's homosexuality due to either external or internal homophobia. Nowadays, being "in the closet" represents more an emotional danger. Thoroddsen instead depicts that idea as a physical danger. Without any kind of psychoanalysis, we get a brief glance that points to a possible motivation of self-loathing. Yet, instead of Michael Myers, the film provides a similar embodiment but less parricidal and more, territorial gay-basher.
Björn Stefánsson stars as Gunnar, a man who lives in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. Not much is known about him, except he's Icelandic. He's in his 30's probably and he lives with his boyfriend who appears to be younger. One night, he gets a weird call from his ex-boyfriend, which prompts him to visit a secluded cabin out in the middle of nowhere. The cabin belongs to his ex-boyfriend's parents.
Sigurður Þór Óskarsson co-stars as Einar, the ex-boyfriend in question. When Gunnar arrives, Einar isn't in the cabin. He's wearing a red jacket and sitting out on some rocks on the edge of a rift. Einar claims he called Gunnar while drunk and has no memory of why he's there. His behavior is odd, so Gunnar decides to stay with Einar. Strange things start to occur and both suspect someone might be lurking around the cabin or farm.
While this film might not be on the level of Darren Aronofsky's recent brain-warp of a film, Mother!, its ending might require an equal level of decoding. The title itself suggests the space between the two characters or the actual fissure, the graben in the Earth where Einar is first found. Nevertheless, the odd warning of hitchhikers from a gas-station girl and the appearance of a hooded figure in the obscure edges of the frame are puzzles that scratched my head as this film rolled its credits.
Not Rated but for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 51 mins.
Available on DVD and VOD on November 21.