Review: The ReZort (EIFF)

TheReZortEIFF2016

Starring Dougray ScottJessica De GouwMartin McCann

Directed by Steve Barker

Reviewed at the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival

After recovering from a zombie war, the survivors think it might be a good idea to open a safari park where humans can happily shoot captive zombies. No chance anything could go wrong there, eh?

Jurassic Park with zombies was the obvious four-word pitch for this better-than-you-have-any-right-to-expect B-movie. Weirdly, it sounds terrible, but it actually works. To be sure, the characters are cyphers: Dougray Scott is the grizzled zombie hunter who has not found a new life for himself beyond shooting at the undead; Jessica De Gouw is the naïve young woman whose father sacrificed himself to save her during the zombie war; Elen Rhys is a misled saboteur whose ill-advised actions kick-start the carnage; and they’re alongside a pair of (annoying) videogamers who won a trip to the ReZort and assorted (red-shirted) zombie park gamekeepers.

Despite this, they all work well enough, playing their parts. De Gouw, an Australian actress who played Mina Murray in the recent one season television steampunk version of Dracula and The Huntress in superhero show Arrow, is fine as a resourceful, conflicted heroine who rises to face the challenges in front of her. Dougray Scott does that gruff Dougray Scott thing he does (see the first two seasons of Hemlock Grove).

As the island has been established after the war and the zombie virus has been cured, any attentive viewer might spend much of the movie wondering where the ‘new’ zombies were coming from as the remaining ‘supplies’ must be running out. Thankfully, this becomes a main plot point in the final act of the movie, lifting the whole thing above a run-of-the-mill action zombie flick. Like Seoul Station this ‘twist’ is a heavy-handed attempt to relate the narrative to current political issues, but rather than homelessness it is refugees here, although in the case of The ReZort it works slightly better.

Verdict: Simply put: Jurassic Park with zombies, 6/10

Brian J. Robb

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