Rites of Passage (BLU-RAY)

Rites Of Passage

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Running Time: 
102 minutes

Rites of Passage is a fairly standard run-of-the-mill non-monster horror film about college kids getting killed.

They Say:

Nathan, an anthropology student, invites a few of his classmates and their professor to his family's abandoned ranch - once a sacred Chumash burial ground - to recreate an ancient ceremony. There they meet Nathan's psychotic older brother Benny and drug fueled Delgado. The students then embark on a rite of passage that no one will ever forget.

So, basically this movie is about how small the world is and how full of coincidences it can be. I mean, it has to be, because I've never seen a movie so filled with unlikely events tied together so neatly. Nathan is an anthropology student. Nathan has two best friends, one is ex military, the other is addicted to cam-girls - you know, women who get naked over a webcam to guys who pay - and he's obsessed with one girl in particular. Anyway, Nathan's family happens to own a whole bunch of land, on which there are Chumash indian burial grounds. And his favorite professor happens to be very interested in the Chumash. And a girl Nathan is interested in happens to be of Chumash descent. That girl is prone to panic attacks stemming from an accident she was in - well, that she caused - where while going the wrong way down the highway, struck another car and killed the woman and little girl inside. So they all go to Nathan's family's land to do this ritual.

Meanwhile, on the land are a bunch of greenhouses - the family business was roses before it got shut down. The old brother lives there and lets a local drug cartel grow stuff in most of the greenhouses. Delgado is the guard, keeping a watch over the farm. He also does a bunch of drugs. Anyway, Delgado is an angry man whose life was devastated when... a woman driving the wrong way on the highway struck his wife's car killing his wife and daughter.

But let's not get to that yet. Benny, the older brother, does drugs too, ancient Chumash drugs. And he believes he needs to take a wife. So in his drug addled state he goes out looking and kidnaps a girl. He ties her up, but she escapes and then gets herself killed while trying to get away. Benny then sees the Chumash girl and knows he's finally found the right bride.

Now that all the coincedences have been pointed out, it is time for people to die. Well, more people to die. And die they do!

Rites of Passage isn't a terrible movie, but it is predictable. However, as predictable as it is, it is well shot. The scene where the kidnapped girl escapes and Benny chases her it a truly thrilling scene. Sure, I spoiled it above by saying she doesn't get away, but that won't matter - you won't see it coming. It's one of those things where the director perhaps knows his movie isn't going to shock anyone, so instead he constructed scenes that could end in a half dozen ways, all similar yet different. You know someone is going to die, but you just aren't sure which of the ways they are heading toward is going to do them in. It's enough to make it a very watchable film.

The Blu-Ray is very light on extras, with just a trailer and a very short Making Of featurette.

Review by Jason Pace
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