Forsaken Film Reviews – Is The Rezort (2015) just Jurassic Park with Zombies?

In my latest review, I look at a film whose plot bears some similarities to Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park; only this time the guests are hunting down the world’s remaining zombies.

photo source: from the film The Rezort(2015)

Story (2/5) – The Rezort comes to us from the writer Paul Gerstenberger and had the working title of Generation Z.  The film takes place in a near-apocalyptic future where humans managed to drive back the first zombie outbreak.  Years later, as the survivors are still rebuilding their cities and lives, a businesswoman creates The Rezort.  She offers them an opportunity to hunt the remaining zombies as part of a Zombie Safari experience.  For some, this opportunity is simply a fun hunting experience.  To others, it is the only therapy they have to cope with the post stresses of the zombie war.

In some ways, the plot of The Rezort mirrors that of Jurassic Park’s.  Like the dinosaurs, the zombies are fenced with different areas of a park.  At the start of both films, the characters go out in jeeps exploring the park.  The guests seem to enjoy their adventure at first, but then something goes wrong with the park’s computer system that causes the dangerous zombies to go free.  And like Jurassic Park, this computer malfunction is caused by someone involved in a theft.

The story eventually follows its own path though, and it becomes quite an engaging tale at that point.  It even introduces us to a conspiracy to explain certain logistic issues that you might be thinking.  So the only real issue I had remaining was the default settings on all the computer controlled locks and fences.

In the world of living people, it makes sense that the default would be open for locks and off for electric fences.  It’s so that no one is trapped in a case of an emergency.  But when you are using those locks to hold back zombies or dinosaurs, then the default should ALWAYS be locked or turned on.  Better still, just use physical locks with some type of computer biometrics.  That way,  when the power or the computer goes out, the chances of something getting free is lessened.

Character (3/5) – Now I prefer zombie films to be more about the characters and less about the zombies themselves.  There are a few exceptions, but typically, I don’t find myself routing for the undead horde.  I want to invest myself in the characters and try to figure out a way to survive with them.

Fortunately, the characters in The Rezort are not a rehash of Jurassic Park, but fresh ones to follow and learn about.  That said, there is the Archer character, played by Dougray Scott, though.  I found him to be very cool in the same way that Muldoon is cool in Jurassic Park.  Without Archer, the zombies would have easily overran the vacationers in the middle of the film.  He’s the character that I wished Lewis would have been.  More on him later though.  Scott played Archer wonderfully well and  I had no issues with this character at all.

In The Rezort, we are also introduced to the characters Lewis and Melanie.  Melanie (Jessica De Gouw) is the primary character in this film.  She suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after watching her father turn years before.  She wants to go The Rezort, hoping to work through her psychological issues.  De Gouw does a wonderful job of creating a likable character.  Unfortunately, Melanie never really seems to grow into the hero’s role.  She just keeps running from her problems (quite literally).

Her boyfriend, Lewis Evans (Martin McCann) tries hard to support her in her efforts.  Like Archer, he’s also a veteran of the zombie war.  And it seems that Lewis has his own set of issues to deal with mentally.  I was really torn by this character though, because at first I would like him, then I hate him, and then like him again.  Ultimately, I think he stayed true to himself and did the expected thing.

The remaining members of the main vacationing group are Sadie (Elen Rhys), Jack (Jassa Ahluwalia), Alfie (Lawrence Walker) and their guide Nevins (Kevin Shen).  I liked Nevins a lot, because he never deviated from his duties as their guide and protector.  He was enjoyable from beginning to end.  As for Sadie, Jack, and Alfie, there were plenty I didn’t like about their characters at first.  But as the story moved along, I eventually started to invest myself in them as well.

Execution (2/5) – This film is directed by Steve Barker, who is known for Outpost and Outpost: Black Sun.  I felt he did a good job of getting good performances from the cast members and for keeping the story of The Rezort focused.

The special effects were nowhere near as groundbreaking as Jurassic Park, of course.  But I really loved the locations filmed.  The resort scenes were spectacular, especially those looking in from far away.  Loved the buildings as well.  The makeup work in this film was also solid, as was the editing by Marti Roca.

Everything made the movie have the same technical feel of an exciting zombie survival horror game.

Nuance (2/5) – The film had the emotional feel of one as well.  Like a game, the tension kept building in The Rezort.  And I also had this feeling that the characters that were killed were basically used to to help the main characters get to the next stage.  And at the end, the main character(s) are left to deal with the final boss/horde.  There was even some twists, like the conspiracy behind the zombies.

Unfortunately, there was much more to the film nuance-wise to give it a higher score for me.

Entertainment (2/5) – I was solidly entertained by The Rezort though.  It really didn’t get good for me until after the main group encountered their first zombie horde.  Up to that point, it seemed too much like Jurassic Park, which I had already seen multiple times before.  After then though, I felt the story into started to explore the characters more, and we started to see a different story emerge.

Overall, The Rezort scores a 2.2 out of 5 bow ties.  I think the characters are worth seeing again, but overall the film itself is just a solid single showing for me.  And despite some similarities in its plot to “Jurazzic Park”, it does manage to make its own story come alive.  Now maybe if they would have cast BD Wong…





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