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Rattlesnake (2019)

When a single mother accepts the help of a mysterious woman after her daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake, she finds herself making an unthinkable deal with the devil to repay the stranger.


The last of the Halloween releases from Netflix, Rattlesnake is the work of writer / director Zak Hilditch (1922). And it's good. A far superior screenplay than a great deal of the PG-13 jumpscare nonsense that we see today, Hilditch's handling of the supernatural is fantastic. Films today seem to suffer terribly with the need to spoon-feed the audience plot points and answers, and there's none of that here.

Lead, Carmen Ejogo (It Comes at Night) does an exemplary job of tormented and terrified mom-trying-to-save-her-daughter against supernatural forces. And rattlesnakes. Ejogo has built quite the catalog and has fast become a draw, and her performance here is no exception. The film hangs on her performance alone, and she shoulders the responsibility with what looks like ease. Damn fine stuff. Apollonia Pratt as her young daughter is spot on too. Great casting.

As far as scares go, the film is pretty light, with a far more cerebral approach to the terror - that perhaps Fractured could have learned from, with Ejogo's Katrina fighting to save her daughter from the unknown.

As we've seen from Netflix's offering this year, the ends of the films can be something of a tremendous downfall in the enjoyment of the piece and this is different. The film has a satisfying ending and is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

Finally, something to sate my horror needs. It's light on gore, but gripping throughout, and scary enough to hold your attention. Definitely a must see.

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