The Red Resurrection tells a story of life, death, and resurrection in which monsters and men walk among each other. Sometimes the two can be difficult to decipher because, in a world lousy with undead eaters, nothing is as it seems. After a run-in with a disease known as “the plague,” Abby Royal (Kirstie Piper) is brought back to life by two interesting gentlemen, Dave Harper (Jacob Reinhard) and John Bowman (Daniel Cutteridge). Now part of a dystopian world, Abby must find a way to survive with her new friends.
Writer, director, and actor Matt Long’s cinematic debut is a low-budget film that attempts to combine religion, horror, and humor in order to create a story that resonates with viewers on an emotional level while also being a riveting tale of the undead. Horror films and television shows featuring the undead have been successful for some time. Titles like Dawn of the Dead, Zombieland, and The Walking Dead have maintained longevity in pop culture that is hard to ignore. It’s hard at this point to create something new in terms of zombie-related entities, and Long’s attempt feels derivative of the aforementioned television series; the sets feel familiar, and the storyline is all too similar to Robert Kirkman’s successful drama. What sets The Red Resurrection apart from other films of this nature is the religious aspect that quietly transcends the entirety of this film.
“…Abby Royal is brought back to life by two interesting gentlemen…”
Religious films don’t necessarily generate a massive following as the often in-your-face approach that filmmakers is typically a major turn-off. Forcing a thought or idea on your audience can often backfire and create a level of disdain for what you’re attempting to convey, and it seems clear that the director is aware of this. While religion does play a significant role throughout The Red Resurrection, Long’s intelligent approach keeps that aspect in the background, allowing viewers to come to terms with those ideas without feeling driven in that direction. This permits the audience members to better appreciate what Long is offering; this immeasurably helps to balance out the issues caused by many of the other aspects of the film.
The acting in projects with limited resources can suffer severely as a result of a lack of time to rehearse or inexperience on both the cast and crew’s sides of things. Sadly, The Red Resurrection falls victim to these acting issues, and viewers see a number of actors just barely capable of conveying the necessary emotion from beginning to end. The saving grace is the obvious passion that each actor possesses for the project. Piper, Reinhard, Cutteridge, and the supporting players (particularly Long himself) so clearly care how the narrative plays out and is received by the rest of the world, which sits well with the audience.
While Long clearly derives a lot of The Red Resurrection from other, similar films, his ability to develop a unique twist on the zombie genre is a testament to his originality and the love he has for his firstborn project. While the film’s religious aspect is not for everyone, the reality is that this aspect is what allows the filmmaker’s message to shine through and be received by appreciative audience members.
"…a unique twist on the zombie genre..."