When it comes to high concept ideas scriptwriter Paul Gerstenberger must have thought he had hit the jackpot when he came up with the concept of The ReZort. In one line its Jurassic Park meets Walking Dead and as awesome as that sounds the best thing about The ReZort is it is so much more.
Set in a world after the zombie apocalypse has been and gone 7 years have passed without anyone being infected. As humanity lives free from terror resuming their daily routines the only place on Earth where zombies still roam is The ReZort a holiday island designed for mankind’s unkind entertainment.
With sun drenched beaches, clear blue sea and tons of rotting flesh eating corpse all captured and confined to the island, The ReZort is run by a multimillionaires CEO like a game hunting safari theme park where you pay to stay and blast away at the living dead with a variety of weapons.
People visit for several reasons from city boys entertaining perspective clients on a business trip, to a jilted bride making the best of a wedding gift to two teenage gamers who won a competition however Melanie (Dracula’s Jessica De Gouw) has a very personal motive for spending her money to murder zombies.
Wracked with guilt and unable to move on from the horrors she saw during the war and live a normal life after spending so much time going to survivor support groups Melanie thinks this extreme and violent therapy is the last chance she has to exorcise the undead demons of her past.
Blending elements of the aforementioned Jurassic Park movies, Westworld and Max Brooks magnificent World War Z, especially the previously unpublished “Closure, Limited” which can be found in 2010 anthology The New Dead amongst some other amazing zombie based short stories, The ReZort builds on its brilliant concept crafting a well-paced horror packed with great action and scares.
The location is amazing and the attention to detail in creating the park complete with hotel, uniforms, logo ridden vehicles and more makes it all the more believable and engrossing. The make-up and special effects are well done too with plenty of nasty looking groaning and moaning brain chomping bodies shambling around like battery farm chickens and nailed up on targets primed for the slaughter.
Massive credit must be paid to writer Paul Gerstenberger and director Steve Barker, who made the Outpost movies, for not lazily extorting the central idea or filling it with the usual unimaginative zombie clichés as The ReZort puts forward some deeply challenging ideas and moral questions forcing the viewer to think rather than just switching off and enjoying the gory ride.
The cast are all excellent delivering several seemingly stereotypical roles that are in fact much more once the surface is scratched by a rotting finger nail. Taking the role of Melanie’s faithful partner Lewis Martin McCann plays the nice guy opposite Dougray Scott’s mysterious and menacing Archer who seems unstoppable when it comes to killing the animated undead.
Most important of all Jessica De Gouw gives a passionate performance in the lead as a woman trapped in the pain of the past and desperate to break free. Our sympathies are with her from the start and only grow as we see the physical and psychological trials and torture she goes through.
A fantastic horror and an original and imaginative twist on the zombie genre the film gives the audience entertainment and jumps as well as a powerful and poignant plotline with neither element compromising the other.
A must see much like Romero did The ReZort uses the zombies and the characters attitudes and interaction with them to reveal something dark and disturbing within ourselves making us face far more than our fear in the final few moments of the movie.