Netflix thriller turned unintentional comedy

By: Tyrone Barrozo, Columnist

Are you looking for a film to laugh at with some buddies as you pass out candy to children on Halloween night? Then Netflix’s “Rattlesnake” might be the film for you.

“Rattlesnake” is an interesting film for the wrong reasons. The story’s premise centers on Katrina Ridgeway, a single mother, and her daughter who are on a road trip to Oklahoma. On the way, Katrina’s daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake and accepts help from a mysterious woman in order to save her. However, for the price of her daughter’s life, Katrina must repay her debt to the stranger who saved her child by sundown—a soul for a soul by any means necessary.

This film’s plot is spread so thin to the point of tearing and for that, the film is somewhat entertaining. 

The events of the film spread out over the course of a few hours, but the writing of the film manages to slow down time and visually bore the viewer. Given the stakes of the film, one would think that the writer responsible for this story might want to maintain tension by moving briskly from scene to scene and translate a bit of anxiety and whatever frantic emotions that the protagonist might feel during those moments. That does not happen though. Instead, the film allocates time to redundant storytelling and poor attempts at character development.

Speaking of poor attempts at character development, Katrina is a bit of a dunce in this film. Excluding the fact that she let her daughter run around in the desert far enough from her sight that she managed to get bit by a rattlesnake, Katrina is best characterized as a person who does not apply logic to high-pressure situations. For instance, when trying to find a possible person to kill, Katina set her sights on an elderly man on life support, already on the brink of death, in the same hospital that her daughter is staying. Instead of waiting for the man’s daughter and son-in-law to leave his room, Katrina befriends the old man’s daughter.

That’s not even the best part. Like I said before, this movie felt scripted to be an unintentional comedy, and it managed to do that perfectly when Katrina tried to smother the old man, chickened out and hid in the restroom, and then returned to the man’s room only moments before he flatlined near his loved ones.

I could go on with all of the dumb decisions that Katrina made throughout the film—and there are a lot of them—but the reasoning for pointing them all out is the same. “Rattlesnake” wanted to be a serious, character-driven horror thriller but fell flat on its butt due its protagonist’s lack of personality and impaired logic. With all of that said, all of those dumb decisions make for good [inebriated] fun.

 

Rating: ★★ (2/5)

 

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