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The Rizen


Lost Eye Films

The promotional materials for “The Rizen” bill the film as being of the “horror / sci-fi” persuasion. While this would in fact be a fairly accurate assessment, one should be aware that the film leans far more heavily in the “horror” direction than it does “sci-fi”. Yes, there are scenes with people in lab coats (one of the main characters is a scientist in fact) and suggestions of a secretive research facility (funded and supplied with intel by shadowy characters), but these things are mainly brought up in flashbacks to explain the “how” and “why” behind the current situation the characters find themselves in.

There’s a fair bit of dialog in this film that takes place as the characters wander through these generic looking sections of tunnel. It almost looks like they’re re-using the same much smaller section of hallway over and over and over again, and after awhile it almost becomes distracting with it’s monotone of colors and textures. Every once in awhile they come across a section of this passage that has some set decoration on it, and some of the work they did here is quite good. There appears to be a mix of practical and digital effects used on the film, and the practical stuff is for the most part enjoyable as the “monsters” are nicely gooey looking.

In terms of acting, there isn’t anything here that especially stands out as being either wretchedly bad or sublimely wonderful. Everyone does well with the parts they are given, people play off each-other well, and really you can’t ask for more than that.

As a point of personal preference, I’m always a fan of nice tight editing when it comes to movies, and with a run-time of over an hour and a half “The Rizen” certainly has some things about it that perhaps could have hit the cutting room floor. There’s a love story angle of sorts near the end of the film that to me feels shoe-horned in and really pulls me out of the story. Large sections of the dialog happen while the characters are wandering this hallway complex, and I feel like some of that dialog could have been trimmed or moved to other sections of the journey to further tighten things up. You could likely take ten to fifteen minutes easy out of the movie and I believe wind up with a much better, more focused feature. Again, this isn’t a BADLY edited film … it isn’t going to make you hate yourself or the people who made the movie, this is just a personal preference of mine.

Overall I enjoyed “The Rizen” despite the personal preference issues I had with it. The ending felt a little strange to me, but I read that they’re in post-production on a sequel so I’m assuming that was always the plan and the ending was left so vague and open on purpose.

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