Parents' Guide to

Rattlesnake

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violence, domestic abuse, cursing in so-so horror movie.

Movie NR 2019 85 minutes
Rattlesnake Poster Image

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This is a decent, if ultimately stock, horror/suspense movie. Ultimately, Rattlesnake comes off as a not-quite-successful attempt to pair an old Twilight Zone episode with Crime and Punishment. The concept is interesting enough -- a woman must kill someone as payment to the spirit that saved her young daughter's life -- but the execution falls short. Carmen Ejogo turns in an adequate performance as the woman who must find someone to murder, but there's a lingering sense that she wasn't as pushed to the brink as she might have been, that the exaggeration in the story and drama was misplaced. Instead of the lead character at the end of her rope, we're presented with stock horror/suspense imagery (burning priest, kid banging his head against car window) that comes off as gratuitous.

The movie does have its moments. As the black market gun dealer who sells Katrina the gun she needs to satisfy the spirit demands for "a soul for a soul," David Yow (legendary lead vocalist of The Jesus Lizard) comes off as an unsettling mix of quietly deranged and potentially violent. The chemistry between Ejogo and Theo Rossi -- the abusive man Katrina has selected to kill -- in their conflicts is there, even as the conflict itself ultimately feels trite and unsatisfying. Be that as it may, the result and overall impression of Rattlesnake is that it's a moderately entertaining if ultimately forgettable Netflix offering.

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