Unpredictable and hypnotising, She Rises blossoms into something wholly intriguing.
It takes a lot these days for a horror movie to be truly original and intriguing. The horror landscape is very much populated in the majority by cheap imitations of classic properties from the past and a huge sense of the unoriginal, with slashers, ghosts, ghouls and beyond providing no real inspiration or anything ‘new’, but one film that looks to rip up that theory is Larry Wade Carrell’s She Rises.
A story from Lony Ruhmann, She Rises sees movie director Conor (Angus MacFayden) and his lead actress Kat (Jennifer Blanc-Biehn) taking a break from filming their latest movie and taking a break in a local establishment where they are welcomed by the seemingly sweet and friendly Rosebud (Daisy McCrackin) and her near-mute father Daddy Longlegs (Michael Biehn). While their initial welcome appears friendly, soon Conor’s sexual advances towards Rosebud unleash something much more sinister than one could ever imagine.
She Rises is a trip to the bizarre, there’s no other way that one can put it. Here is a horror movie that starts off in as cliche a manner as you could imagine – even down to some of the dialogue emanating from the characters – but soon evolves into something truly, remarkably weird. Almost like a Lovecraftian classic merged with a commentary on the world of filmmaking, She Rises blossoms with trippy sequences involving reenactments of classic movies, visions of witches and so much more strange happenings that you’ll often find yourself scratching one’s head.
But that is part of the beauty of the film, it’s that diverse, imagination unfolding in front of your eyes that transports us into the unknown and gives us a truly one-of-a-kind indie horror experience. Some of the visuals are truly crazy but yet striking, and the theory of the movie focusing on making movies as much as anything else is truly inspired. It will certainly leave you scratching your head but it also gets you thinking and really engaging throughout, such is the strength of the direction and Ruhmann’s spiralling story.
It’s fair to say, those acts involved are similarly engaging, with MacFayden possibly over-exerting himself at times, but with the inclusion of veteran Michael Biehn, on top form as a near-mute figure who still manages to make a strong impact, and the women in the form of McCrackin and Blanc-Biehn, we are in safe hands. Their interactions help to drive the story on and even when things get weird they aid in keeping you at a slightly more grounded level with their character work.
She Rises isn’t for everyone and you’ll certainly feel massively confused at times, but it’s horror at its most interesting, visually arresting, bizarre and absolutely one-of-a-kind. It’s certainly horror you should consider checking out before the close of 2017 as it may just creep into your favourites of the genre for the year.