“I meddled with things Man must leave alone.” This famous quote is from James Whale’s 1935 The Invisible Man. That musing by the dying Claude Rains poses a warning that people do the unthinkable in genre films. No sane person would walk into an unlit cave or open a grave, yet it happens, and audiences get the scares. In Genevieve Rises, a young working man, Jeff Gates (Nicholas Michael Jacobs), reads from a book made of flesh with the cover of a woman’s face unleashing an evil force.
Writer, director, editor, and actor Jacobs gives us a horror offering that runs just 13 minutes. The young filmmaker adds to what was started in the longer film titled Genevieve. The titular character has also been in a series of additional shorts like Genevieve Strikes Again and Genevieve Wreaks Havoc.
“…reads from a book made of flesh with the cover of a woman’s face unleashing an evil force.”
In this picture, Jeff has returned from work to find his girlfriend gone, much to his shock. He tries to get her on the phone, leaving plaintive messages. Unsuccessful, Jeff indulges in a drink or two. Wandering downstairs, he discovers an odd book in a box of his girlfriends’ possessions (no pun intended) held together by stitches with the visage of a woman. Flipping through the book and reading aloud passages unleashes the nearby figure of Genevieve (Alan Maxson), who attacks. Not before, in true EC Comics tradition, you get the girlfriend warning him not to read from the book in a voice message.
Genevieve Rises features a good shot selection and a broody colour pallet of browns and woods with some shadow. The unwitting star is the doll who springs to attention and growls in much the same way as the figures do in the Full Moon Puppet Master series, only not as articulated. Genevieve is a supernaturally possessed doll with mayhem and murder on its mind. There are some interesting moments when the screen goes dark, leaving just the taunting voice of Alan Maxson. The torment drives Jeff to grab a knife, which somehow doesn’t work very well.
Shot on video with POV shots, blackout effects, and well-attempted practical gore and make-up effects, Genevieve Rises makes you want to see more of the story. One wants to meet the girlfriend who owns such an evil book. Just remember, no matter what, do not read it out loud.
"…well-attempted practical gore and make-up effects..."