12th Jun2018

‘She Rises’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Michael Biehn, Angus Macfadyen, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Daisy McCrackin, Lorraine Ziff, Nick W. Nicholson, Larry Wade Carrell, Hallie Jordan | Written by Angus Macfadyen, Lony Ruhmann | Directed by Larry Wade Carrell


Being a huge fan of the horror genre means that I have watched many strange movies. From a killer car tyre to a zombie musical to killer sushi – I could go on and on. And She Rises, in different ways, is right up there with the strangest.

The story itself sounds simple enough, as a director and her lead actor end up staying in a cabin in the woods for a night, owned by a seemingly shy but normal woman and her not so normal Father. But that is as simple as things get. Soon their female host becomes a lot less innocent and sweet as she first seemed, while her Father might just be ready to kill someone.

The weirdness is more to do with whether what we are watching is reality or a dream or something completely different! After a pretty standard and not that interesting first twenty minutes things do take a turn for the weird. Although this is kind of a film within a film, it goes beyond that. Who’s acting? Who’s directing? Who’s mind are we in? Who’s dream are we watching? Is any of it real? All of these questions are ones you’ll be asking yourself and ones that make She Rises a film to watch more than once. Even the very ending leaves you scratching your head, as things seem to wrap up in a kind of normal way(for this movie anyway), only to start up again in a kind of behind the scenes documentary type of film.

Performances are thankfully good. Jennifer Blanc-Biehn is well known in the genre and is as watchable as ever, while her husband Michael Biehn (almost unrecognisable in his make-up) has a small but enjoyable role. Lead actor and co-writer Angus Macfayden, best known for his roles in Braveheart and We Bought A Zoo puts in the most entertaining performance. Those first twenty minutes see him perform impersonations from major Hollywood films, and even though they are very good, you start to wonder if this is all we will see from him and the movie in general. Thankfully when proceedings get weird, they also get much better in quality. And Macfayden is a highlight. Daisy McCrackin (who horror fans may know as Donna from Halloween: Resurrection) playing Rosebud gets to show all of her acting skills in a role that shows every emotion.

Director Larry Wade Carrell might be one to watch. Working on what is clearly a low budget, She Rises has a certain style which suits its strangeness. As we change between found footage style shaky camera to much more professional-looking shots when the story calls for it. And although that sounds a bit messy, it really does work.

There’s some good ideas here, possibly about feminism and how reality can be blurred but when it also involves a Succubus (maybe?!) then I’m not sure if any strong message is actually meant.

If you don’t mind being confused, She Rises is a nice shot of originality that does plenty of things right.

*** 3/5


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