Rub (2023)

“Do I pay you now?”

Opening with a hyper-fixed obsession with the lonely man at the center of its story, Rub is both unnerving and focused as a character study as one outsider finds himself forming an unlikely bond with a sex worker.

With sharp edits and solid cinematography, the journey into Neal’s lonely world is both humorous and, thanks to Micah Spayer’s performance, perfectly relatable.  He plays video games in his underwear; he talks to mirrors as if they were other people in the room; he fakes his performance at work - hoping to duck all sorts of social interactions - yet, thanks to an uncomfortable interaction in a men’s bathroom at work, finds himself knocking on the door of a back alley massage parlor.


"both unnerving and focused"

With neons at an all-time high, the world of this lonely everyman is perfectly rendered throughout the tension in Rub.  Neal is an uncomfortable subject, yet he fuels the film.  He is an outsider and he can’t help but bring the uncomfortable along with him.  The camerawork is the only smooth element as it follows him from situation to situation, including his initial interaction with Perla, who is played by Jennifer Figuereo (Lola), the sex worker who he winds up saving from a bunch of thugs.

But the massage parlor was a prank played on him by his co-workers and when it is revealed to him that he actually is the loser they all believe him to be, Neal snaps.  It is at this point that the audience is firmly behind Neal and Spayer’s performance reels us all in; it is also the point where Perla becomes the only real thing to him and he longs to feel her touch again.Rub (2023)

And that’s when the trouble begins.  His second night there is interrupted by a group of criminals who are robbing the place.  Suddenly, he’s holding a shotgun in his underwear!  What follows is an inspired piece of filmmaking as Westley Barrington Artope (The Get Down) and PJ Landers (Kingpin) round out the key cast.

Entertainment Squad is excited to announce the North American VOD release of the psychological crime thriller RUB. Written and directed by Christopher Fox, the dramatic feature tells the story of a lonely incel whose visit to a massage parlor has consequences he never anticipated. Rub had its world premiere at the Big Apple Film Festival and Fox took home the Best Director Award at the 2023 Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de Madrid and Best Feature at the Long Island International Film Expo. RUB will debut on Cable VOD and Digital HD, including iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Comcast and Verizon, August 1, 2023.

4/5 stars

Film Details

Rub (2023)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
105 mins
: Christopher Fox
Christopher Fox
Micah Spayer; Jennifer Figuereo; Westley Barrington Artope
: Crime | Thriller
Not all endings are happy.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Do I pay you now?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Entertainment Squad
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 1, 2023
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Meet Neal. He's lonely, gets bullied at work, and is unlucky in love. At the suggestion of a co-worker he decides to go to a massage parlor and in the process his life changes in ways he never would have imagined.


Rub (2023)