Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Film review: The Revenant
I had heard some good things about THE REVENANT, enough to pursue a copy to watch myself. I love good horror-comedies when I can find them, like SHAUN OF THE DEAD, SLITHER, ZOMBIELAND and my most recent favorite TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL. I can't say that REVENANT knocks any of those four out of their prime positions in that sub-genre for me, but it's original, different and does have some truly funny moments that make it worth checking out.
In another review I was reading someone pointed out that the way to do horror-comedy right is to rely on the natural humor of what's happening to the characters rather than taking shots at the genre, or the characters themselves. I think that's a perfect way to look at it, and REVENANT is nothing if not an exploration of just how bizarre it would be to find yourself undead. Not all of the humor is my style, and the longer the movie goes on the more over the top it gets, but it got me laughing about some of the truly gross, uncomfortable and confusing things that the main character, Bart, has to go through.
Bart dies while on duty in Iraq, but after he's returned home and buried he finds himself walking around looking pretty damn hideous, barfing up awful black slime if he tries to eat normal food and unable to stay conscious during the day. He seeks help from his best friend, Joey, and they end up discovering that blood helps Bart feel (and look) a lot better. To avoid harming innocent people, they decide the best thing to do is clean up criminals off the streets. Less crime, Bart's feeling good, everyone wins, right? Erm... that's when things get hairy.
It's not exactly a zombie movie, not quite about vampires, it's something in between. I appreciate stories that aren't afraid to forge their own way off the main trail, that's what keeps films about the undead from getting too stale. And it wasn't a straight comedy, there were poignant, serious moments to help balance some of the wackiness. I got a little lost as the plot went on, and it became too much like a vigilante buddy cop movies at times, but it was still worth seeing.
24 Frames: Horror Comedies via Rotten Tomatoes
The Revenant via Rotten Tomatoes
The Revenant via IMDB.com