It was zombie night at the Toronto After Dark film festival at Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, and things got underway with The Rezort. Treading liberally on Michael Crichton territory, in the vein of West World and Jurassic Park (which in turn was a take on the over-worked theme of The Most Dangerous Game), though without an undead breath of real science, The Rezort is set post zombie apocalypse, which humanity won, and sees the rich indulging their fantasies of hunting and killing zombies in a realistic environment.
You don’t have to have seen either West World or Jurassic Park to know that things are about to go dreadfully, and bloodily wrong. But isn’t that the point of a good zombie movie? Blood, gore, and kills.
As always the audience of an After Dark screening is the key to its enjoyment, and much like the Romans at the coliseum, as long as they were sated with blood, zombies and ludicrous, violent and insane kills, you have them in the palm of your hands.
I had explored the idea of this earlier in the day in a discussion, and while i was looking forward to the evening, I like a solid story with my film as well.
Unfortunately, the film employs a predictable collection of broad stroke stereotypical horror character tropes, all of them easily classifiable and just as quickly forgotten, to make it easily accessible and get right on to the park failure. The only role with any real substance is Jessica De Gouw’s Melanie, but even she isn’t given enough real material to build a character. And poor Dougray Scott, arguably a very solid actor, but is forced to use an American accent in his role of Archer, no doubt to appeal to the North American market.
There is the loosest commentary on the refugee crisis, but the film eschews political commentary that has been at the core of the strongest zombie films to give us a bit of a roller coaster ride, which by the end of the film, offers us no real resolution, instead, gearing up for a sequel instead.
A little more in the way of character development and a more pointed story may have served this one a little better, especially when paired with the superior Korean film, Train to Busan.
Zombie Night, however, is always fun at Toronto After Dark, and the crowd was riotous and ready for more.