Passionate about his craft, wildlife photographer Neil Parker (Luke Kenny) disappears into deep forests without revealing his whereabouts to indulge in his favourite activity of clicking pictures. Annoyed by his taking off randomly, his girlfriend Vinni ( Kirti Kulhari) walks out on him. Saddened, he tries to find solace in nature and sets off for Lansdowne, Uttarakhand. Lonely in the forest, he gets bitten mysteriously. The ‘bite’ transforms him into a zombie.
If it wasn’t for the film’s super-sluggish pace, abstract and ineffective build-up, it had the potential to be different. An attempt is made to keep the feel and mood a tad imaginative by going low on dialogues and activities, but that only evokes boredom. 30 minutes into the movie and you’re still waiting for the zombie to make an entry. The film has been shot in a documentary-drama style which disappoints as the treatment doesn’t work, given the genre. There is no ‘thrill’ element at all, an absolute necessity here. The ‘silent nothingness’ goes on forever.
The film becomes a gore-fest, once the zombie starts munching on human and animal flesh. Though bloodshed is what you expect from this movie, and it provides it in abundance, nowhere does it manage to truly scare you. It grosses you out. You don’t fear the zombie or curiously anticipate his next move.
You’re also subjected to a series of flashbacks, (Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours-style) which seem unnecessary. Those scenes do not imply anything and only add to the length. Since the film is the first part of a trilogy, the sequel promising more ‘action’, lack of story development could be forgiven. In spite of the lackluster script, Luke Kenny acts well, looking menacing as a zombie. Ritu Janjjani’s makeup looks realistic, sound effects are apt.
Rise of the Zombie is a one-man, one-line story which fails to keep you hooked.
A photographer turns into a zombie after he gets bitten mysteriously.