July 9, 2007

The Rapture (Tolkin, 1991)

I must admit I'm not quite sure what to make of Tolkin's challenging, unsettling film. Overly ambitious in intent, it straddles the line between underappreciated masterpiece and esoteric curio. But despite the schizophrenic response it engenders, it is also an undeniably singular filmic experience, at once starkly inaccessible and fascinating. As a study of religious extremism through the lens of born-again Christianity, Tolkin's film excavates powerful questions, reminding of the spiritual/corporeal contradictions and struggles evident in not just Christianity, but all religion. Ultimately, the film buckles somewhat under its immense aspirations. And though it isn't a horror film in the traditional sense, I must say that parts of The Rapture lingered with me long after viewing and scared me more than any horror film I have seen in a long time.


Cinebeats said...

I hard time with this film when I first saw it but in the end I liked it and thought it was very creepy and well done. An "esoteric curio" is good way to describe it. It really unnerved me, but I enjoyed being unnerved.

Evan T. Burchfield said...

I took it as an indictment of modern Christian theology. I attempted to justify the movie from a Christian perspective in an old post at my blog, if you're interested.

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