08th May2015

‘World War Dead: Rise of the Fallen’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Philip Barantini, Kacey Barnfield, Robert Bladen, Kyle Frank, Marco Gambino, Wendy Glenn, Ovidiu Lapusneanu, Davide Manganelli, Ray Panthaki, Ben Shafik, Eva Solveig | Written and Directed by Freddie Hutton-Mills, Bart Ruspoli


The Battle of the Somme marked one of the bloodiest battles in human history wounding and killing over 1,000,000 German and Allied soldiers. Now a century later, a documentary team – led by filmmaker Marcus Singh and Emma Washington have travelled to the site to film a TV ratings smash hit, unveiling the mysteries that led to its horrific outcome. However what they unearth is far worse than they could have imagined – an army of the undead and a brand new war. World War Dead: Rise of the Fallen chronicles a terrifying new battle between the living and the dead… and there can only be one winner.

‘The following is a compilation of the footage they captured’ fades into the screen at the start of World War Dead: Rise of the Fallen and instantly we know what to expect. Shaky cam, lots of scenes of people yelling at each other to ‘turn off the camera!’ and also moments where it would make no real sense to be filming, but they film it anyway just so we know what is going on. What did surprise me about World War Dead, though, is the fact that someone has so kindly assembled this ‘found footage’ and added music and sound effects to the background to make it scarier. Does it really count as ‘found footage’ then? Or is it more along the lines of a badly edited film? I’m not sure, but this sounds like a deep, philosophical debate which would take up more space than I have here. You can draw your own conclusions.

What I did like about World War Dead: Rise of the Fallen was the beginning. It was a strong start with a lot of promise, hinting at scarier things in the future (if you can ignore the random French man who appears and warns them about the danger. Sigh). I also thought that the use of trenches and tunnels would add a nice claustrophobic feel whilst the characters are screaming and running away from the undead. Unfortunately, bad visual effects on both the camera and zombie side make this film more cringe-worthy than scary. World War Dead also falls into the pit of stupidity that many other zombie films have fallen into before. By that, I mean that the characters have a tendency to die due to reasons such as: not looking where they are going, standing still when zombies are around, and generally doing completely stupid things. Sometimes it is so obvious they are about to die that you roll your eyes and wait for the inevitable whilst the characters run around like headless chickens.

As a found footage film, it isn’t the best. As a zombie film, it isn’t the best. Nowhere near the best in fact. Perhaps this footage should have stayed hidden, and maybe World War Zombies is a genre that should finally be allowed to die.

World War Dead: Rise of the Fallen is out now on DVD.


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