30 July 2013 | ASouthernHorrorFan
My Review Of "Rabid Love"
Paul J. Porter's "Rabid Love" is a retro-charged love affair with classic 80's horror that does so much more than the term "throwback" could justify. The film stars Hayley Derryberry, Jessica Sonneborn, Brandon Stacy, Josh Hammond, Hannah Landberg and Brian Reece in a story that combines psychological/grindhouse atmosphere with traditional thriller/melodrama. Five friends decide to spend a weekend at a family cabin in the woods for some hunting typical comradery that turns into a retreat into Hell.
The story in "Rabid Love" hits on familiar themes, but the combined elements with the major plot creates a truly original nightmare. The beginning of the film was a little bit of a sleeper. It did feel as if the first 40 minutes lasted forever before something major happening in the storyline. It didn't seem really boring but I found myself becoming more aware that no real scares or bloody scenes had taken place yet. The first of half of the story really allows for a more emotional connection and character build for the horror to come. What makes it worth the wait it the stellar attention to retro aesthetics and one kick ass soundtrack. It plays out like a classic rock opera. Now the second and third acts in "Rabid Love" really amp up the action and intensity, creating a creepy almost grindhouse melancholy that is both compelling and chilling. All this rises to a fevered pitch of terrifying circumstances as the story arcs finally where the film becomes one really intense fight for survival that hits on vintage thrills of both grindhouse and psychological horror films of the late 70's and early 80's.
"Rabid Love" is really a well planned and executed tribute to the heydays of classic b-movie and survival horrors. The characters are convincing, and drawn out enough to connect with without being over exaggerated. The soundtrack is truly a epic play and sets the nostalgic and entertaining tone to the film. The actually horror and bloody elements are restrained and a bit under-glorified but the effects are well done. Paul J. Porter really does show a true talent and deep love with classic horror, and the almost romantic embrace that 80's directors held for the genre. That aspect often gets left out of modern horror which tends to go for the guts and gory. I really enjoyed this film once it kicked in, and with the attention to period aesthetic- a solid story "Rabid Love" is well worth any horror fan's attention.