The Rift: Dark Side of the Moon (2016)

Lemme pull back the curtain a bit here at Chwineka Watches: I usually listen to music when writing up these posts. Revolutionary, I know. I have that “lofi hip hop radio” YouTube video bookmarked, but lately I’ve felt the urge to listen to music in my collection. Even more recently, I’ve taken all the songs I have from my new favorite band–the Anix–put them into one playlist, and just hit shuffle when it comes time to write. I really do like these guys, so imagine my surprise when I heard them while watching this utterly lackluster Serbian film! But, like, not actually A Serbian Film, a movie I will never watch, let alone for this blog.

The Rift: Dark Side of the Moon is a film made in Serbia, but is mostly in English with some parts in Serbian (without subtitles on Tubi, so no clue what was said). Liz, a woman still grieving the loss of her son, is ordered to team up with US agent John Smith (Mr. Ken Foree, AKA the black guy in most Rob Zombie movies) to retrieve a downed satellite. With them is a doctor who used to be an astronaut, and another guy who’s entire purpose is to die very early. Turns out there is no satellite, but there is an American astronaut that may or may not be dead. The scientist is horrified, because he recognizes him! Turns out the two were on classified NASA missions that went to the dark side of the moon, and the astronaut currently before them walked through a shimmering purple rift. Title’s a bit on the nose, but whatever. Things get weirder when it’s revealed that death hold no meaning here, with the dead coming back to life and speaking as if they’re controlled by the same otherworldly entity. John Smith goes crazy and chops just about everyone up, so everyone dies. The astronaut visits Liz as she’s dying, then teleports back to the night her son died and saves him. The film ends with a television feed displayed on the astronaut’s helmet showing that the world is in turmoil after he made an appearance in Seattle and resurrected a bunch of dead people.

Every so often there’s a classification of movies where the film itself is rather lackluster, but the soundtrack is a fuckin’ jam. I think the best example is Tron: Legacy with its soundtrack by Daft Punk (RIP). The songs in this are all electronic rock, a genre that I’m absolutely into, complete with the Anix’s “Mask” playing early in the film (although I’m more partial to “Black Space” or “This Machine”). I guess when you name your movie after Pink Floyd album, you have to have bitchin’ music. I don’t think any of these songs actually matched the energy of what was on screen, but I at least appreciate that someone tried to breathe life into the movie through its needle drops.

As for the movie itself, it just feels fairly generic. It introduces some interesting and big brain concepts, and then just doesn’t really do anything with them. Rifts can appear that connect different places and times together? The most we get out of that is a revelation that the scientist has had Liz’s necklace for 30 years, and the aforementioned portaling to the resurrection of her son. With strange aeons even death has died? We see a Serbian family come back from being shot, as well as that guy with Liz and Smith whose name I refuse to learn and Liz’s son. Reporters say more have come back, but we get a single shot that may have actually be stolen from a zombie movie. The astronaut is apparently hailed by some to be the new Messiah, but… why? He’s a dude in an astronaut suit who does nothing. Oooh, he was laying flat on his back but now he’s sitting at a table! How sinister! We don’t even see him do anything cool. The movie could’ve done so much more, but I do get the feeling that this was a pretty cheap production. Or at least a chunk of their budget was licensing electronic jams.

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