The Revenant, 2009 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror
Posted by LiveFor on October 4, 2009
Director: Kerry Prior
Starring: David Anders, Chris Wylde
Having cut his teeth in the visual effects field on movies like Bubba Ho-Tep and Phantasm III and IV Kerry Prior is no stranger to the horror genre. With The Revenant, Prior has made the jump from effects to writing and directing.
Revenant is the story of Bart (played by David Anders), a soldier killed in Iraq who wakes up in a coffin after his own funeral. After breaking out of his coffin and realizing his situation, he seeks out his friend Joey (Chris Wylde) and together they determine that Bart has become a revenant, an animated corpse that must feed on blood to continue its existence.
Bart’s need for blood creates a dilemma not uncommon in undead fiction – how does one obtain fresh blood without taking innocent lives? The two stumble on to a solution when they are mugged outside of a convenience store. This solution leads them on an over-the-top spree of Punisher-like crime fighting, prompting a local TV station to dub them the “Vigilante Gunslingers”. There are, however, some unforeseen consequences of Bart’s thirst and the escalating violence used to satisfy it that come back to haunt them.
There are some moments of absolute genius in the film. Given Prior’s history in visual effects it should be no surprise that the gore in Revenant is very good, especially for a smaller budget independent film. There is one effect in particular involving Bart trying to find a method to allow a severed (but still animate) head to speak that will have even the most jaded of horror fans both cringing and laughing out loud with delight.
The story starts out as a sort of undead action hero/buddy comedy that is quite strong. Anders’ Bart and Wylde’s Joey are engaging and have good comedic chemistry. Where the movie falls apart a bit is when it moves away from the buddy comedy story in the third act and it really loses focus in the last 20 minutes or so. That being said the rest of the film more than balances out the somewhat weak ending.