Thursday, November 01, 2018

The Rift: Dark Side of the Moon (2016)

It’s always been a little strange to me that there are certain tiers when it comes to movie quality.  You have big-budget films with well-known actors and that certain gloss.  There are made-for-TV movies, which may have a few recognizable names and are generally enjoyable, provided you don’t pay much for them.  Then, there are the independent films.  There have been good independent films, but most lack the production values (read: money) of the other two categories.  Even within independent films, there are those where the writer and producer did a great job with it and those where some guy just really wanted to get his movie made.

The Rift strikes me as a movie that someone really wanted to get made.  The plot is confusing.  The CGI is passable.  There’s also a sense that the actors maybe didn’t have many other offers at the time.  It’s not that it’s a horrible movie.  I’ve seen worse.  It’s just that I’m not exactly sure what the script was trying to do.

John Smith and Liz Waid meet Dysart and Darko at an abandoned gas station.  Their mission is to track a fallen American satellite.  What they find is a strange family and an even stranger rift.  On the other side is the moon.  Dysart reveals that he was an astronaut on a post-17 Apollo mission, which he believes is when the rift connects to.  Oh, and no one can seem to die.  (Anyone killed comes back to life.)

Add to this some basic coincidences.  It turns out that Dysart was an astronaut on that Apollo mission.  In fact, one of the other astronauts came through the rift.  Actually, Dysart assumes that it’s the same guy.  Really, it’s just a guy in an astronaut suit.  No real attempt is made to remove it to either help him or at least verify his identity.  You’d think they’d want to get it off, as there’s no need for the suit to remain on.

For that matter, you think the astronaut would be more emotional at being back on Earth.  He’s not overjoyed.  He doesn’t seem confused or scared at the sudden change in scenery.  For the most part, he just sits or lays there.  It would at least make some sense to try to go back through the rift, maybe to get back to his crew.

I’m not entire certain what I was supposed to get out of all this.  It wasn’t particularly scary or creepy.  There didn’t seem to be any sort of message.  There was no explanation given as to what happened.  (It’s not stated how or why people came back to life or how the rift even formed.)  It’s almost like a rough draft of a film.  All you would need to do is fill in some sort of explanation of what’s going on.

It’s almost impossible to take the movie literally.  Very little back story is given, either on the characters or the mission.  We have no reason to care about the characters or why they were chosen for this mission.  It would seem like maybe this is the first half of a story that somehow got its own movie.  I actually tried to look up some sort of explanation, but couldn’t find anything.  Of course, I only went through about three or four results before I realized something crucial:  I doubt any explanation would really help make sense of this movie.

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