Director: Steve Barker
Writer: Paul Gerstenberger
Featuring: Dougray Scott, Jessica De Gouw, Martin McCann, Claire Goose, Elen Rhys, Jassa Ahluwalia
After a deadly zombie virus outbreak is finally controlled the world slowly returns to normal but it has created a refugee crisis as people flee countries ravaged by the virus and war that happened afterwards. Nevertheless, life goes on and so does business and one that is thriving is The Rezort where the rich can pay a fortune to hunt and shot zombies on an island in controlled conditions. Nothing can go wrong that is until the next batch of guests arrive and one of them has more than fun shooting zombies planned.
This is a film that whilst well-meaning and trying hard to bring something new to the zombie apocalypse format really should come under ‘guess which film has influenced this scene’ heading. You can see many films in nearly every scene and action piece. In fact, the premise clearly is Jurassic Park becoming Zombie Park. People love shooting zombies in safe conditions until an outsider messes with the park’s security that is incidentally run by greedy, and frankly evil, business types, in this case a woman. So far, so seen it all before.
The biggest distraction for me, apart from some rather gaping plot holes, was looking at the actors and envisaging the casting meeting where presumably the producers would say something like ‘We want a Kate Beckinsale type but that’s too expensive, who can we get?’ In particular there is a very annoying not-Taron-Egerton in the story, and he takes ages to get killed.
One place where money was spent was on casting Dougray Scott an actor my wife once said after watching him a Dr Who episode, ‘Surprising how a real actor shows up the rest when he’s in this show!’ if you knew her you would know that is an amazing comment, I cannot remember her ever remarking on actors performance during a show/film before or since. She is, as usual, correct though, he is a good actor and is easily the best thing in this film.
The reason most people watch this type of film for is the zombies and they are not too bad, scary enough, snarly and gnarly and usually shuffly until the story wants them to break out into Olympic sprinting or stealth-mode, both annoying and inconsistent.
To be fair the story does zip along at a fair pace and you are not left waiting for things to happen, but it really does so at the expense of any character development and when I say any, I mean there is virtually none. Melanie’s boyfriend is an ex-soldier, the two young lads, not-Taron-Egerton and his mate, are game players who won a competition to go on the island, as 16-year-olds unaccompanied and Sadie is part of some ‘Rights for the Dead’ action group – which of course makes no sense and is a throwaway line to give her some motivation for causing the deaths of hundreds of innocent people.
The film soon turns into a chase with our heroes escaping zombies, or rather not all of them, as other characters shown early in the film are tossed to one side and consumed rather quickly or simply forgotten about.
What the evil corporation that owns The Rezort are doing seemed to me to be one of those ideas that may have looked good on paper but did not necessarily translate to the screen. It was convoluted, silly and expensive within the world that the filmmakers had created and that is with disbelief suspended.
In all honesty, I can think of two recent low-budget zombie films that have tried a different take on this genre and have created a better stab at it. I applaud the makers for making an action-packed zombie film trying something a bit different even if it was a barely disguised mishmash of previous better films and therein lies the rub. Along with guessing which actor they really wanted I could play a game of guessing which film they ripped off – World War Z was in there, 28 Days Later alongside Jurassic Park and little bits of other films.
It is a good effort but just not good enough – the very end was so easy to predict that I swear that there is not one person who is reading this who could not have seen it coming well before it did.
But hoorah for Dougray Scott who is always worth a viewing.