RED KINGDOM RISING
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Mary Ann's father passes away and she is flooded with terrible memories of the Red King the leader of a fairytale kingdom in tales her Dad once told her. In order to gain real closure in her fractured life, she has to confront the Red King once and for all.
Is it good movie?
Poor Mary Ann probably wishes her Dad never read Alice in Wonderland to
her when she was young. Now, she has to deal with the death of her Dad
and the appearance of a bizarre, faceless Alice and the Red King
haunting her every turn. Plus, her Mom's a bit of a nut too.
You've seen stuff like this before. It's very popular these days to
take the whole fairy tale gimmick and put a dark spin on it. Also
popular is the whole "how can I overcome my dark past" journey, so
there are two very familiar horror movie conventions right off the bat.
I can give some props where props are due though. First, the cast is
decent. Emily Stride plays Mary Ann, and is actually quite compelling,
having to show off quite an emotional range. Mary Ann's crazy Mom is
played by Silvana Maimone, and she's pretty believable too, if not a
bit over the top. Also impressive was the performance of Alice, by
Etalia Turnbull. Acting is surprisingly not a problem in this indie
Red Kingdom Rising certainly relies a lot on visuals, and is
unquestionably one of those "did that really happen" movies, which
sometimes drive me crazy because they don't provide answers and this
can create plot holes. With that being said, there is indeed some
dialogue, but it tries often to be cryptic and winds up clunky and
awkward for the most part.
The film certainly exudes style and flair from first time feature
director Navin Dev. It's packed with lots of great visuals and
beautiful, horrifying settings. The movie paces itself in a way that it
draws you in carefully before delivering some pretty nasty goods.
So, if you're one for mystery, abstract concepts and finding out the
truth buried in a dark past, you'll dig this one. I personally felt the
flick was a bit too artsy/bizarre/weird for the sake of being weird,
but I can certainly appreciate it. I feel like it's the kind of flick
film students could study and write essays about.
It's dark, it's a fairy tale, there are clues everywhere, and plenty of
blurring of fantasy and reality with good performances and great
cinematography. Sound like something you'd boogie to? Squeeze your arse
down the rabbit hole!
Video / Audio
Not exactly my kind of movie, but this is a well made low budget indie flick that packs a visual punch and a decent twist- just don't expect all the answers.