We keep sending messages out into space hoping for a reply. But what happens when an alien race takes us up on the offer? Eddie Arya shows what happens if those aliens are not all we hoped them to be in Risen.
I love doing reviews on films and TV series that aren’t out yet for the general public. I get to watch the film without being influenced by other reviewers. Risen is an American sci-fi thriller that was written, produced, and directed by Eddie Arya. He was inspired by a 2013 incident in the town of Chelyabinsk, Russia. The film, produced by Arya’s Australian Company was filmed in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada and stars Jack Campbell, Nicole Schalmo, Dominic Stone and Kenneth Trujillo.
Risen begins with a family sitting down for dinner: Dad, Mom, and two little girls. Suddenly there is an explosion that nearly destroys the home. Everyone in the town dies, because the meteorite that has crashed in the outskirts of the town of Badger has made the air toxic to all life. The military that arrives first on the scene must wear hazmat suits.
Colonel Emmerich (Jack Campbell) calls in two highly specialized scientists to investigate the crash site. David Santiago (Kenneth Trujillo) and Lauren Stone (Nicole Schalmo) are both experts in exobiology, which is the study of life on other planets. For an organism to exist in space, it needs to be able to survive extremely harsh conditions. Lauren has issues with an event from her childhood and she is receiving therapy as a mandatory condition of her DUI. Whatever happened in the past has to do with a secret her father (Ken Welsh) told Lauren never to reveal to her mother.
While at the site, Lauren notices a strange red bud growing out of the center of the crash site. She never mentions the plant to the Colonel. In the meantime, the military is dealing with the bodies recovered from the town. During the autopsy of one of the victims, Rob Windsor (Dominic Stone) a black ooze begins pouring out of the body with the first incision. Then, to the shock of everyone in the room, Rob sits up. He isn’t alive: no pulse, no breathing, no brain function…but he is reanimated…and soon, several other bodies become reanimated.
The situation becomes more desperate when the alien plant begins to grow, stretching its roots beneath the soil, and killing all the plants. It isn’t until the military takes Rob to the site of the crash that we see that the alien plant is now the size of a skyscraper. Rob speaks for the first time, and what he tells Lauren is frightening.
When you consider contact with an alien lifeform, do you expect something like E.T. or do you expect something more sinister? Why would contact with an alien lifeform be any different than what indigenous people dealt with when colonizers took land and life every time the colonizers ‘discovered’ new land?
Lauren soon realizes that the trauma that she has buried deep in her subconscious mind from childhood, is connected to someone known as Supernova 94 and that her past is somehow the catalyst to the alien’s arrival.
Risen is one of the better sci-fi films that I’ve watched in a long time. The script is intelligent, and the acting sincere enough to make the scenes believable. I have watched enough science fiction films in my lifetime (I grew up during our country’s space race with Russia) to truly appreciate a great alien film, and Risen is one of the great ones. The film is scheduled to be released on August 20th and I am recommending everyone see it.