PLOT: A group of kidnappers have a run-in with an angry humanoid killer that accepts sacrifices for successful harvests.
Two movies in a row for 31 Days of Horror involve sacrifices and crops. This is purely by accident. While Children of the Corn entertained with stories of children running around with farm tools as weapons, Rites of Spring is pretty much garbage.
If I caught Rites of Spring on SyFy, then I’d probably be a little kinder to it because that’s exactly where this movie belongs. This is barely a horror movie, to be honest. It’s what you get if you mixed Ransom with Friday the 13th. Basically a bunch of hapless people go through kidnapping movie clichés until some creature that some old man has had locked up for years and fed sacrifices to, gets out, and chases a possible victim to where the kidnappers are hiding out. Then it’s just your standard run-away-from-the-killer plot and it doesn’t do it particularly well or original.
We don’t get much about what the thing is or who the old guy was or any of that. There’s also some storyline about characters getting fired from their jobs (which is one of the reasons the kidnapping takes place), but it’s talked about in such generic and clichéd terms, that it seems like the writer/director has little understanding of business or the English language.
Long story short: the only person that earner their money for this one is the one that designed the poster above. That shit is tight.
Sure, there is a lot of gore in this one. The Thing, as I’ll call it, loves running around and chopping off people’s heads, which is kind of a weird way to satisfy a sacrifice now that I think of it. I’d expect more of the eating flesh variety of sacrifice or maybe even something carnal, but there’s just something about chopping off people’s heads that doesn’t seem all that sacrificial.
Gore Rating: 4 out of 5
Not at all, which this should be. Even the Friday the 13th series can get you on some jump scares. This one gets too involved in the kidnapping plot that the horror aspect of it doesn’t get enough time to fully form. On a side note: the girl they kidnap gets away, but she just runs into the woods in the middle of the night and we never see her again. She’s like eight; I feel like this is a loose end.
Scare Rating: 0 out of 5
Yes, but at it’s most exploitative. For some reason, the old man decides that the sacrifices must be done with fully naked women, which we see one stripped. What is odd, though, is that the Thing leaves the sacrifice untouched, save for the head. And it kills plenty of fully-clothed women and men. Old creep just gonna creep, I guess.
We also see the female kidnapper in a bra, literally for no reason. This is how we’re introduced to her this way and she immediately puts a shirt on; it has nothing to do with anything. Sure, you can argue that most nudity is pointless, but this one was just jarring to me.
Nudity Rating: 2.5 out of 5
This one is just not good. I guess it tried to mix genres, but it failed to do both successfully. This might be my least favorite film of this year’s 31 Days of Horror so far. Skip this one.