Rizen, The; Fun, Entertaining Yet Clumsy Gorefest
Rizen, The. Film Details.
Director: Matt Mitchell
Writer: Matt Michell
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Release Format: VOD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 94 min
The year is 1955. NATO and the Allied Forces have been conducting secret, occult experiments in a bid to win the Arms Race. Now, they have finally succeeded but what the Army has unleashed threatens to tear our world apart. One woman must lead the only survivors past horrors that the military has no way to control – and fight to close what should never have been opened.
The Rizen is an action-packed horror film written and directed by Matt Mitchell. The film is coming out on VOD next January 2nd. Mitchell is working on the sequel The Rizen 2 coming out next year.
Laura Swift… as Frances
Sally Phillips… as The Suited Woman
Bruce Payne… as Admin
Laurence Kennedy… as Dr. Julian Hicks
Adrian Edmondson… as Interviewer
Julian Rhind-Tutt… as Blast Door Scientist
Tom Goodman-Hill… as Number 37
Stephen Marcus… as The Executioner
The Rizen left me divided from the beginning. I had a tough time to take it seriously for a few reasons. At first sight, The Rizen seems an important action-thriller film with an entertaining plot, focused camera work and cinematography but when it comes to acting or hairstyle, you might feel a bit alarmed. I’m not claiming the acting is appalling, and the hairstyle isn’t convenient for the 50’s, it just makes it evident that all of what you are watching is make believe, which we know from the start but when you watch a film, you want to be transported to the action and be enchanted by the story.
It can be a bit of a letdown when you struggle to focus on what’s going on and try to care about the characters even though the other elements don’t seem to add up. There’s invariably a silver lining and if you don’t mind at first the overacted and forgetful dialogues, you might see that at some point the characters goofy about their actions exaggerating their expressions and motions, which is funny and I thought it was clever. That made me think if it was the intention from the get go.
Sometimes you just have to try harder and give it a chance. That’s what I did with Mitchell’s second feature. The Rizen adds a sci-fi mystery to the action packed and fast-paced thriller which is a fresh and innovative thing to do and I must praise Mitchell’s attempt to keep the story interesting even though the lacunas I wrote above.
Mitchell adds his own personal vision attached to The Rizen, you can perceive his acknowledgement about camera work, cinematography and sound editing. The film is clear, quick, powerful, and it has a lot of gore. Practical effects are remarkable, principally the make-up of the monsters which reminded me a bit of Clive Barker’s mind.
The lead character is an impressive, brilliant and resourceful final girl played by Laura Swift, who is normally a stunt performer. That explains how comfortable she is with a physical challenge and it reflects amazingly on screen. Frances is a kick ass character and I’m glad I had the chance to come across her adventure, much like Milla Jovovich’s Alice in Resident Evil.
If you’re into Horror that takes place in the same settings you will feel claustrophobic while watching The Rizen. After an effort to keep up with some bad dialogue and maybe-intentional overacting, The Rizen might surprise you with an impressive ending and a vigorous tone attached to it. Matt Mitchell is working on the sequel and I’m positive that it will be even better. I’m curious where the story might go to… I guess we’ll have to wait and see.