Film Review: THE RIZEN (2017)

THE RIZEN ** U.K. 2017 Dir: Matt Mitchell 100 mins

This is a British Sci Fi/Horror film set in the 50’s about a top secret experiment conducted by Allied Forces to win the arms race, in the process they unleash supernatural beings that threaten the entire world. One woman is the key to stopping these monsters but because she was involved in the tests she does not know what is expected of her until she can piece together the fragments of her memories.
Joined by Scientist Prof Baughman, who is suffering with similar memory loss and a disgruntled Army Private known as Briggs they try to save the world. With very brief appearances from Sally Phillips, Adrian Edmondson and Julian Rhind-Tutt to name a few this doesn’t really do any of them justice really they are definitely under utilised. The main actors are less known and casts Laura Swift (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and Stunt woman in Pride & Prejudice & Zombies) as heroine Frances, Patrick Knowles as Briggs and Christopher Tajah as Baughman. Their dialogue is hilarious although I’m sure its not meant to be, especially at the start it makes me think of something Enid Blyton would’ve written had she dabbled in horror writing. Its so typical of the era I had to giggle when Frances triumphantly proclaims “smashing!” on discovering a crowbar. I enjoyed the set and the special/ sound effects as there was a fair bit of blood and guts. The monsters could at first be mistaken for some kind of zombie but alas it was not so. They do make some eerie clicky noises and their faces are bound in grubby bandages which is intriguing and once unravelled they are suitably gross looking but are fairly easily defeated in true 50’s style of very British jolly old fisticuffs and a poke with a pen knife seems to do the trick! I wasn’t over awed by the music but it was adequate, the sound was a bit off at times as I missed a fair bit of dialogue due to over powering background noise. The flashbacks were that fuzzy soft focus stuff that again was very over the top. Even though I got the premise of the film, as it was going on I have to admit the majority of the time I didn’t understand what the hell was going on so if someone can fill me in a bit more clearly that would be much appreciated.

Review by Sarah Budd

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