The Rezort Movie Review
Written by Daniel Benson
Released by Content Media
Directed by Steve Barker
Written by Paul Gerstenberger
2016, 93 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
Frightfest English premiere 27th August 2016
Dougray Scott as Archer
Jessica De Gouw as Melanie
Martin McCann as Lewis
Claire Goose as Wilton
Jassa Ahluwalia as Jack
Just a quick tip for designers of theme parks that work around dangerous beasties being kept in captivity for the general public to interact with: design your locking mechanisms so that, in the event of system failure, they stay closed rather than open automatically. It takes less power to leave a gate locked than to open it.
“Jurassic World with zombies”, they say of The Rezort (you can tell there are zombies because of the Z). “Oh no”, I say, “not another stupid zombie movie”. But you know what? As daft as it sounds and as surprising as it is that no one’s done it sooner, The Rezort ain’t half bad.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, but not the unwashed, foraging for food and ammo type, The Rezort sees the majority of the civilised world having seen The End of Days, through a virus that brought the dead back to life, and kicked its ass.
While the rest of the planet goes about its daily business, the last remnants of the undead are now kept on a tropical island where rich customers can go for an authentic experience to battle real life (or death) zombies. Just like its CGI dinosaur-laden peer, The Rezort has electric fences and safety features to ensure the guests never come to any harm. That is until this story’s own Dennis Nedry drops a virus into the system that sends everything tits up and releases the hordes on a small group of customers taking the grand tour.
Dougray Scott emerges as the leader of the group, which comes as no surprise as he’s the brooding silent one who brings his own rifle on the expedition and expertly takes out walkers with headshots from half a mile away. The rest of the team is made up of various characters; the one who dropped the virtual payload in the system in the first place, a couple with some issues and a pair of online gaming youths who are drawing their weapons for the first time outside the virtual world. There are also literal red shirts, the park staff and guides who wear exactly that colour only to be picked off well in advance of everyone else.
As predictable and clichéd as it sounds, it’s actually a whole load of fun. The zombies are well done and vary between shambling Romero-style ghouls when they’re out on the plains and Zack Snyder Olympic athletes once the power goes down. Maybe director Steve Barker is a fan of both Dawn of the Dead ’78 and ’04, and wanted to pay homage to both.
The comparison to Jurassic World is valid, but The Rezort runs a closer parallel to Spielberg’s original than the recent reboot, even to the point I thought one scene when the group approaches an electrified fence was going to play out in the same way as the one with Sam Neill and the kids (it didn’t, by the way). There’s even an attempt at some social commentary, involving a sub-plot to keep the reserve stocked with fresh undead from a refugee camp, pointing the finger at society for considering these people somehow less than human.
Overall though, we’re here for the thrills – of which there are plenty. Headshots, bites, hordes and rat runs all keep the action flowing in this 93-minute movie that flies past at the speed of its zombies (the Snyder ones, obviously). It might not redefine the genre, but it’s certainly a solid entry that delivers on its premise and doesn’t fail to entertain.