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RED KINGDOM RISING
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Navin Dev

Starring:
Emily Stride
Silvana Maimone
David Caron
Etalia Turnbull

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
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 offering.

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
n/a (screener)
The Extras
n/a (screener)
Last Call
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.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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