By Dakota Cantwell
When “Jurassic Park” meets up with “Resident Evil”, their unforseen love child takes the form of a surprising gem hidden among zombie films. “The Rezort” combines a few good actors with a surprisingly original thought to create a fun hour and a half film that makes a social commentary on today’s refugee debates.
10 years after the apocalypse has come and gone, humanity has done the only logical thing with the remaining zombies, commercialized them at an island resort for the rich and famous to shoot at. When the security systems in place ‘surprising’ fail and release the undead to feast upon unsuspecting patrons, a handful of archetypal people will be forced to work together to escape the island before the failsafe is enforced and the entire island is firebombed.
With an estimated budget of $5.8 million, “The Rezort” brings in a strong cast and surprisingly good practical effects, just ignore anytime they use digital effects.
Jessica De Gouw (“Dracula”, “These Final Hours”) stars as Melanie Gibbs, a survivor of the apocalypse struggling to deal with the loss of her father who turned into a zombie before her very eyes. This piece of her past makes her undecided about whether hunting zombies is something she can do.
Despite the characters feeling of uselessness, as a character who can’t shoot zombies shouldn’t survive long, De Gouw helps to create a sense of concern for the character as she struggles to survive a zombie film without killing anyone.
Gibbs’ character, however useless, is built in the story to offer someone who can look at the horrible situation and make a judgement because she is seen a blameless in the eyes of the audience. This is not made clear until the end of the film, which offers a lot of frustration as Gibbs survives despite her innocence in dangerous situations, but pays of well in the end making a statement about the refugee debate without become too political.
Joining De Gouw on the cast is Dougray Scott (“Mission: Impossible II”, “Hitman”). He plays Archer, the stereotypical survivor who carries a rifle rivaled in ammunition only by Hershel’s cheat code shotgun. With Scott’s seasoned background, he helps bring the 2 dimensional character into the real world as the survivalist who actually cares.
The cast also included Martin McCaan, Elen Rhys, Jassa Ahluwalia and Kevin Shen, each filling an archetypal zombie film role.
“The Rezort” includes a lot of very well done practical effects that make the zombies feel real and the gore seem legitimate. The low budget of the film is shown most when it chooses to include CGI effects that come off more like a 2000s video game than a zombie film. Thankfully the movie doesn’t include much of these effects and relies more heavily on their practical effects.
The music of the film doesn’t so much to stand out from other standard zombie action flick, with intense music for the dark scenes and fast paced for the action. Still, there are a couple of good songs that add to the feel of the resort theme and sarafi style adventures being had.
Overall, “The Rezort” won’t be redefining the genre or making new statements about social issues, but it offers good entertainment that will be more memorable than most.