Review: An interesting premise isn't enough to save 'The ReZort'

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Melanie (Jessica De Gouw) in “The ReZort.” (Shaw Organisation)

Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.


Secret ending? No.

Running time: 91 minutes (~1.5 hours)

“The ReZort” (also known as “Generation Z”) is a zombie apocalyptic thriller about a resort that keeps zombies to entertain guests. Predictably, the zombies escape, and horror ensues. It stars Jessica De Gouw (Melanie), Dougray Scott (Archer), Martin McCann (Lewis), Jassa Ahluwalia (Jack), Elen Rhys (Sadie), and Claire Goose (Wilton). It is rated M-18.

“The ReZort” was a promising film that felt like it could have changed the zombie genre, or at least inject a spark of originality into such films. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite happen. It got lost in a sea of its own attempts to hew as closely to the zombie tropes as possible. As a result, “The ReZort” is really just like every other zombie film out there, just reskinned in a different outfit. But it all plays out the way you’d expect it, offering little else than, well, a theme park with zombies.

Archer (Dougray Scott) and Melanie in “The ReZort.” (Shaw Organisation)

Highlights

Interesting premise

It’s a refreshing take on the usual zombie apocalypse movie, in that it takes place after a zombie apocalypse has occurred in the movie universe. The only zombies left are confined to the titular resort which our protagonists find themselves in. However, as different as this take might be, the execution is still wanting, and surprisingly, it’s not that different from other zombie flicks.

Lewis (Martin McCann) and girlfriend Melanie in “The ReZort.” (Shaw Organisation)

Letdowns

Odd treatment

“The ReZort” feels awfully like a student film in its rawness and sincerity. While this in itself isn’t a cause for concern, it suddenly switches to full on Hollywood zombie mode halfway, before interspersing both approaches for the rest of the film. It feels like the director had different moods on different shoot days, and with the end result being an oddly shot film.

Pulls out every zombie stereotype

It is a zombie movie and it does require certain familiar elements if it is to keep to the zombie genre, but wow. It tries to stuff in every cliche without exploring it properly, like the typical “kill the infected person before he turns into a zombie” trope. It even ends on a stereotype, and is truly disappointing since the premise was pretty original to begin with.

Predictable

Because of the overuse of the zombie stereotypes, you can figure what’s going to happen next in the film, and who is going to die next. The excitement is lost and there’s no tension or mystery to keep you going. Even the drama feels lacklustre because of this predictability.

On-the-nose

One of the biggest issues is that everything is so literal in the film. Because of the overuse of cliches, there’s no room for subtlety or even the slightest twist. The countdown to disaster is represented by a giant ticking timer that appears every few scenes or so, and the naming conventions leave nothing to the imagination. It makes “The ReZort” simple to understand, but robs the audience of the pleasure of decoding clues on their own.

Melanie got a gun in “The ReZort.” (Shaw Organisation)

“The ReZort” started strong but ended like every other zombie film, showing us that even the most interesting premise cannot save a mediocre film.

Should you watch this for free? OK.

Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? If you like zombie films.

Score: 2.5/5

“The ReZort” opens in cinemas 30 June, 2016 (Thursday).

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