With two horror films releasing on DVD tomorrow, one might think the one starring a big-name Hollywood actor like Dennis Quaid would be your best bet over an Israeli film that hasn’t even garnered its own Wikipedia page. But for those who hold any regard for critical review, Rabies (Hebrew title Kalevet) promises much more than the Quaid flick Beneath the Darkness.
In what has been dubbed Israel’s first slasher film, 2010’s Rabies (directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado) reveals the story of a brother Ofer (Henry David) and his sister Tali (Liat Harlev) who harbor a dark secret. They run away to the woods, and when Tali is trapped, Ofer struggles to free her. Also in the mix are a group of tennis players, a couple police officers, a forest ranger and his dog, as well as a serial killer. The film won 83% on the Tomatometer based on six critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Brian Tallerico in his October 5, 2011, review on HollywoodChicago.com says this film is “one of those fascinating horror movies that never gets too weird to lose its footing but also stays completely unpredictable.”
2012 horror-thriller Beneath the Darkness (directed by Martin Guigui) stars Quaid as Ely, a mortician who lost his wife a couple years previous. Having been the star QB in his small Texas town, Ely holds more credibility with law enforcement than the group of teens (Tony Oller, Aimee Teegarden, Stephen Lunsford and Devon Werkheiser) who have discovered that he has become an evil killer. Believe it or not, this film garnered zero positive critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, resulting in a 0 on the Tomatometer. In his January 6, 2012, review, Todd Jorgenson of Cinemalogue.com says the film is “a compilation of contrivances and absurdities that is right off the teen-horror assembly line.” Viewer ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and Internet Movie Database weren’t much higher than the critical reviews, but the movie is at 3.3 stars out of 5 based on 406 viewer ratings on Netflix and also won four positive user reviews on Amazon.
Target is the place to buy the Rabies DVD with its $19.79 price beating out Amazon and Best Buy, both at $24.99. But don’t buy Beneath the Darkness at Target. Target’s $19.79 price on the DVD is significantly higher than Walmart’s, Best Buy’s or Amazon’s prices, which are nearer to $10. Target’s $20.69 price on the Beneath the Darkness Blu-ray is bested by a $14.99 price at both Best Buy and Amazon.