Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grapple Crap?: Dark Rising

Christian!  Christian!  At last, you weren't cut out of the movie!  Today's film is Dark Rising, a low-budget film that happens to feature WWE Star Christian.  That's pretty much the only reason I rented this film.  I don't know about the Director.  I don't know about any of the other Stars.  I hope you were good enough to justify this decision, Mr. Christian.  The story involves some sort of alien-demon things attacking the Earth (or a small part of Canada) after one of their prisoners escapes.  Will our heroes- who just happen to be out in said Woods- be able to survive the onslaught?  Will they find an excuse for Christian to do a Wrestling move or two?  Will the film manage to actually good?  To find out the answers to those questions (and a couple more), read on...
In a pretty interesting intro, a man tells a story to his little girl.  It seems like they're setting this up to be told via Narration, but nope.

Instead, weird creatures show up and kidnap the girl.
Some vague time later, this guy is preparing the speech he's going to use to propose to his girlfriend on...this little girl.  There's a fine line between being cute and creepy, dude.

This guy is our lead, so, yeah...you realize quickly that this film is trying to be 'off-beat.'  Semi-joy.
Hey look- Christian!  He's the most interesting guy in the film, so, naturally, he disappears from the film on several occasions for no good reason.  Joy.
A young woman- who is the little girl, obviously- escapes from the bad guys (basically skeletal knight guys) and appears in the Woods.  This brings them coming to our world...eventually.
Something happened!  It's not much in the grand scheme of things, but you won't see me complaining right now.
The creatures work by biting/attacking the group and transforming them.  Christian narrowly escapes being transformed by the hero's love interest, since that sub-plot was doomed to go nowhere.  Well, it does lead to this...
After they talk, our hero chops the mutated girl into pieces.  He seems to like the dismemberment almost as much as the closure.

Seriously, he's enjoying this a bit *too* much.
Skipping ahead, our heroes make one last stand against the creature.  Poor Christian is mutated and battles faux-Xena here.

In a bit of tragic irony, she kills him with his own finishing move: the Killswitch!  Imagine seeing Hulk Hogan leg-dropped to death and you get the picture.
In the End, the creatures are stopped and our heroine tries to live a normal life.  Of course, we need to make a Sequel (which Netflix doesn't carry BTW), so the two leads meet up again for the next conflict.  The End.
Alot of potential (again), but not too great of a pay-off.  The story is good enough, but they stretch it a bit.  There's very little that drives the thing forward.  It's one of those films where they just pile up sub-plots in an attempt to resemble a full plot.  If you can get past the slow pacing, there is some good stuff.  Christian (aka Jason Reso) is the real show-stealer.  Granted- he's given a pretty stock 'I'm the guy who's sarcastic' character to play.  What's great though is that he uses that cliche to really liven the whole thing up.  Without him, it would be a bunch of decent acting just waiting for a strong plot.  There are some unique ideas here, even if the creature(s) are basically a cross between Full Moon's Demonicus and those Skeletons from Army of Darkness.  If you come in looking for a laugh or two and have an open mind, Dark Rising is a decent-enough film to check out.  If any of the people behind it read this, I will review the sequel(s), but I can't without a Screener or something.  Hint hint.  In closing, I just want to remind you that this film was made (so presumably-set) in 2007...
Next up, I celebrate the recent return of The Walking Dead with a review.  Trust me- I couldn't possibly be misleading you.  Stay tuned...

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