DVD Review: The Revenant

PrintE-mail Written by J.D. Gillam

Review: The Revenant (15) / Directed by: D. Kerry Prior / Written by: D. Kerry Prior / Starring: David Anders, Chris Wylde, Louise Griffiths, Jacy King / Released: April 2nd

The zombie genre is starting to become as tired and stale as the protagonists that it represents, shuffling along with few fresh ideas, apart from projects such as Walking Dead. However, The Revenant is here to shake it up a bit. The tale centres around Bart (Anders), an American soldier who is killed in Iraq but is shipped home for his funeral. Once the ceremony is over and night falls, Bart comes back to life, rising from his coffin in full uniform. He seeks out his old friend, Joey (Wylde), who after recovering from the initial shock, works out that Bart has reanimated as a revenant – a kind of cross between a zombie and a vampire, who can only move around at night and has to drink blood to sustain himself. When, via a run in with a gang member, they realise that he can’t die, they decide to become a pair of vigilantes. This will help rid the LA streets of the criminals and supply Bart with a steady stream of fresh plasma to keep him going.

As the pair work their way through the underworld, they amass an impressive arsenal of weaponry and drugs and their actions become slightly ambiguous, although it is hard not to root for them. Eventually their actions come back to haunt them and as the net begins to close around them, things go a bit awry, with characters close to Bart and Joey suffering as a result as well as the two main antagonists themselves. There is even a scene that utilises a vibrator in a way that you would never had thought possible before. It is this kind of dark comedy that runs rich throughout the film and although it doesn’t have the warmth of something similar like Shaun of the Dead, it is a fun movie nonetheless.

The makers have dared to try something different here and, as a result, it stands out from the rest of the copycat dross that can be seen elsewhere. It lurches from comedy to horror, action to romance and takes the viewer for a ride that they won’t soon forget. Considering the running time clocks in at nearly two hours, at no time does the film appear to drag. Instead, it moves along at a fair old pace and keeps you on your toes as the sub-genres keep shifting.

If anything, the final act seems slightly out of sync with the rest of the film, as it finally turns pitch black in tone, but even this is refreshing and interesting to view. How this has taken so long to find a distributor after being made in 2009 is a surprise. There is no reason not to give this one your attention as opportunities to watch something so spectacularly left-field as this only come along once in a blue moon.

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