It’s Scaretober, y’all! Woot! Woot! October is my favorite month, so get ready. I’m pulling out all the stops. To celebrate, I’m sharing my favorite scary fun books and movies. All. Month. Long.
Let’s get to it!
Today’s feature is Rubber, The movie (2011), a French (but in English) absurdist horror film about a tire that comes to life and uses its psychic abilities to kill people.
Rubber reminded me why I am a horror movie geek, and why I needed to once again seek out and embrace the glory of independent horror cinema: Because it’s a seriously good laugh. I mean, read the movie description again. It’s about a psychic tire. That kills. Sure, there are some suspect storytelling tricks, but hey, it’s French. They tend to do that. And, in the age of samey blockbuster movie formulas, Rubber is a breath of fresh air. It’s different. Sometimes the story falls flat, but honestly, it’s worth watching for the visuals alone. The quality of the production is top-notch. The framing of the shots, the crisp clearness of the scenes? I was genuinely impressed. There’s a lot of art in this film. (Tell me you don’t see the tire in the hotel pool as a direct visual reference to The Graduate.)
Now back to Rubber. It might be the only movie featuring a tire with a sad back story. His name is Robert. (We learn this via the credits.) He awoke alone, discarded and covered in dirt in the California desert. He discovers that he can stand up and roll, all on his own. He crushes a water bottle and is all “hmm…I kind of like this destruction thing. Maybe I should kill a living creature.”
So he does. Again and again. But he’s not a completely mindless killing machine. He’s fallen in love with a curvy brunette he’s tried and failed to kill. He’s also seeking revenge on the trucker who ran him over while he was rolling down the road.
We often see poor Robert rolling down the highway and through the desert alone, filled with ennui. I’m all in on a rubber tire with an existential crisis.
Naturally, Robert the tire ends up an outlaw, as many loners often do. He becomes a killer on the loose, stalking the folks staying at a cheap motel, seeking his due. Like all outlaws, he’s cornered by the cops. He loses, yet in a way I won’t tell you due to spoilers, still manages to build a community of other lonely discarded psychic tires and rolls all the way to Hollywood.
Stay tuned for more Scaretober. And, in case you missed it: