Rabid is up front about what it is. Before we have seen the first frame of narrative, plain yellow text on a black background reveals that what we are watching is “Based on the Original Film by David Cronenberg.” Yet remakes are a complicated business. They can be painstakingly faithful to their model, like Gus Van Sant’s Psycho (1998) and Jon Favreau’s The Lion King (2019), or they can deviate wildly, becoming treasured works of art in their own right, like, heh, David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986), as they ring the changes on new times and fashions. Fashion is certainly key to this version of Rabid, directed (and co-written, with John Serge) by ‘Twisted Twins’ Jennifer and Sylvia Soska, who have relocated Cronenberg’s 1977 ‘skin flick’ to a world of haute couture, where superficial forms of beauty are the highest commodity.
From the very start this remake marks its differences from Cronenberg’s film. Free download this movie or watch online rabid from filmxy. It opens with a big billboard poster of a model on a moped, sporting the latest outdoor wear from the ‘Haüs of Günter’ (the pretentious overpunctuation telling us everything we need to know about this fashionhouse). The camera then tilts down from this idealised image to the more blemished reality of Rose (Laura Vandervoort), also on a moped, but with freckles, glasses, facial scars and a crooked nose. Cronenberg’s film began with Rose and her boyfriend Hart having a serious motorcycle accident, and so the Soskas tease us with the near accident that their Rose has as she weaves off into the traffic on her own much smaller bike – but what perhaps is even more indicative here of difference is that the shift from poster perfection down to real-world imperfection is also a visual quote of the opening image from Antiviral (2012), written and directed by none other than Cronenberg’s son Brandon. What we are witnessing here is an open acknowledgement of a new generation in full movie.