Hollywood has an obsession with the convoluted storyline these days. This coupled with many, many cutting edge special effects and a lot of unnecessary spelling things out for the audience (See ‘excruciating’ in the dictionary or watch Inception for further details, but don’t. Really.), makes for the usual predictable crap drawn out by what feels like about six hours more film than needed. Sometimes it’s nice to see silly films with simplistic or outlandish storylines that don’t make you feel like you’re being patronised by someone that is unaware that they are much dumber than you, just makes you laugh, possibly think, and even entertains you for a change.
‘The kid was right, the killer is a tyre.’
Enter Rubber, the film that has the balls to use a line like that, and amazingly doesn’t suck like a Dyson.
Imagine if you will, a sad, abandoned tyre in the middle of the dessert, who suddenly becomes animated. He can move, he can roll, he can crush plastic bottles with his worn down treads, but best of all he can blow up bunnies with his mind (I’m not entirely sure about the anatomy of abandoned tyres, so we’ll just assume he has a brain and with it telekinetic powers until someone can offer a better explanation.), and so begins his journey into murder.
This is truly the most charming, clever and ridiculous horror films I have ever had the pleasure of seeing and the small existential crisis that it gave me was not something I’ve ever experienced before while watching a low budget horror film. A mind bending story, slick scripting, darkly witty dialogue, and visually impressive FX make this one of the best films I have seen for a long time in any genre.
The scenes where the tyre is learning to move, and discovering the world around it are captivating, and surprisingly endearing, reminiscent of a nature video or child learning to walk (although, I could give a crap about the latter) and his realisation that he is, in fact just a tyre, is damn near heartbreaking.
This isn’t just a horror film with Scanners-esque exploding heads and rogue rubber, this is a film that dissects the very audience that is watching while skilfully combining the wit of John Waters, and the bizarre flair and absurdity of Wes Anderson, without once becoming boring or twee. there are a lot of ‘huh?’ moments during Rubber, and I found myself watching with knitted brow through most of it, but as the Sheriff makes very clear in the first scene some things just happen. Exist. Are. ‘No reason.’
Doesn’t mean these things cant be mind blowingly brilliant.