RAVERS ** UK 2018 Dir: Bernhard Pucher. 90 mins
This frenetic Cardiff-shot horror comedy is essentially a riff on 28 DAYS LATER inspired by tabloid moral panics about energy drinks and mindless clubbers. A manufacturing faux pas at the “Regenerize” factory (where I, DANIEL BLAKE’s Dave Johns works!) increases the potency of the drink and results in an employee decapitating a colleague with a health and safety award. Years later, germaphobe novice journalist Georgia Hirst is tasked by boss Natasha Henstridge (imported American star in thankless role alert!) to attend an illegal rave inside the old Regenerize plant, where a leftover stock of bottles soon turns the revellers into a twitchy, bug-eyed, aggressively violent mob. The clubbing gimmick allows for some novel riffs on the familiar one-location infected-horde horror movie: here the infected demand “more” whenever the music stops and, in the wittiest moment, the unaffected clubbers’ emergency scramble to kick-start the music results in Toto’s “Africa” playing to widespread bemusement. Sadly, many of the jokes feel like tepid 1980’s leftovers (a character giving an infected raver the finger as he dies, a guy named Ozzy because his parents liked Sabbath) and the lumbering “mutants” aren’t much of a threat. Most of the humour feels flat, including a solution to the problem involving “morning after” pills and, although it’s refreshing for a movie like this to showcase a lesbian heroine, Hirst isn’t given much to work with.
Review by Steven West