The worst thing you’ll see all week: Rites of Spring

, | Movie reviews

“Heist meets horror”. Surely I’m not the first person to come up with that phrase? It’s a subgenre of horror, where a bunch of characters doing a heist accidentally stumble onto the stuff of a horror movie. I’m not sure how or why it started, and I’m not sure why it’s a formula. As near as I can tell, it’s more established than “romantic comedy meets horror” or “buddy cop movie meets horror” or “historical epic meets horror”. I can think of an example of all of those three things, but not enough examples to consider them subgenres.

After the jump, what if a bunch of bank robbers got possessed by a demon while fleeing a slasher?

The most well-known “heist meets horror” is probably From Dusk till Dawn. I’d say the best “heist meets horror” is Paul Andrew Williams’ funnily brutal The Cottage. The Collector is an unlikely but satisfying combination of Home Alone and Saw. I’d recommend one with a historical bent and a good cast called Dead Birds. I don’t necessarily recommend The Horde, a recent “just add zombies” iteration from France, or Whisper, in which Sawyer from Lost stars in a mash-up of The Omen and Ransom of Red Chief.

One of the most inept heist meets horror movies I’ve ever seen is Rites of Spring, in which a sloppy heist movie happens in tandem with a leaden horror movie for about an hour. Finally one character busts loose and accidentally crosses into the other movie, merrily trashing the heist movie that happened to be happening and then carrying on with the horror movie until such time as the production seems to have run out of a budget to keep shooting. If I was a character in either one of these movies, I would be greatly annoyed. Although — surprise! — it turns out one of the characters from either movie knows each other. It’s a small world, after all!

I watched this because I really like an actor named AJ Bowen, who has a knack for finding his way into fiendishly clever indie horror films like The Signal, House of the Devil, and A Horrible Way to Die. Rites of Spring is not one of those.

Rites of Spring is available on Amazon Instant Video.