If I had to pick my favorite decade for horror, it would have to be the 80s. Sure, the 80s had some horrible movies like any other decade, but it also had some of horror’s most memorable characters, one-liners, and practical effects. And when someone tries to capture the 80s feel for their movie it definitely piques my interest. It also worries me a little, for fear that the movie will fail utterly in that regard.
Enter Rabid Love, a movie that tries to capture that 80s essence. Hell, the story even takes place in the 80s. If you forget that fact, you get reminded by Hayley Derryberry’s character Heather, who sleeps in a Reagan/Bush ’84 shirt. Anyway, Heather and four of her other friends go to a cabin in the woods for one last party before post-college life separates them on their own individual life paths.
Their time in the woods is mostly fun and games, but they picked a terrible time to go there, as other people camping nearby are getting killed off there, and before long our group of protagonists are next in line for some pain and suffering. The Rabid Love IMDB page suggests a number of possible culprits behind things, but it’s really not that hard to figure out who is to blame, just from looking at the poster alone. However, what you don’t expect is that the antagonist has more in mind than just killing people. What that is, you’ll just have to watch and see for yourself. I just sort of wish that there was a little more to it. It’s difficult to explain without giving too much away. You’ll have to watch the movie to see what I mean.
I had fun watching Rabid Love for the most part, but it’s not without a few issues. The acting is good all-around, but some of the dialogue was kind of dull. There were a couple of times I caught myself drifting off into my own world, but that stopped after the first 20 minutes or so. The effects were nothing special either, but there wasn’t a big budget to work with, so sometimes you gotta do your best with what you have to work with.
Most of the characters are likable, except for Adam, who is just a terrible boyfriend and pretty obnoxious in general. Adam’s friend John invites David, a total stranger, to the cabin in return for helping him out. Not long after David arrives John just bails on the group and goes to bed. Not very cool if you ask me. Granted, John isn’t feeling too well, but still. Everyone else in the group are nice people who I didn’t want to die, and as you all know, that’s a big plus to me.
Strangely enough, one of the biggest surprises is how much teasing the movie gives you in terms of nudity. There are a number of scenes where they almost give you what you think is an eyeful, just to deny you at the last second. It ended up being pretty amusing after a while, especially when I think of how disappointed your average guy (and some women I imagine) will take the teasing. Given how good-looking the women are, I don’t know if I could blame them.
To the movie’s credit, I did feel the 80s vibe throughout, and that was quite a relief. And the soundtrack in my opinion was very well done. It’s not often these days that a movie’s soundtrack makes a significant impact, but in Rabid Love the songs were fun and placed in appropriate scenes, so kudos there.
So while it isn’t perfect, you should still watch Rabid Love and appreciate the good aspects that it does have. It’s not just another slasher flick, and I appreciate its attempt to be original while paying tribute to horror of the past. Until next time, rest in peace.