Rise: Blood Hunter (2007)★★★★☆


Overall, I really like this film. It’s well cast, well acted, and beautifully filmed. It’s not perfect, and it’s not scary, but it is entertaining.

It’s an interesting sort of vampire film in that you never actually hear the word “vampire” and no one bares any fangs or sleeps in coffins. It’s an interesting choice, because the film seems to go out of its way to avoid vampire cliches (except for the reflection in the mirror thing), only to catch itself in several other cliches, like the wise elder with experience who teaches the newbie all he knows or the cop-turned-vigilante after losing a member of his family.

This is a far more sexualized vampirism than most stories, particularly when it comes to the “cult” the story centers around. They’re essentially rapists in addition to murderers, which especially demonizes them. It also adds a dark tone to the film that feels unnecessary even for film noir (or neo-noir).

But this is Lucy Liu’s movie, and she plays the role of Sadie Blake perfectly. This is probably my favorite Lucy Liu role. The rest of the cast is full of surprises, too. James D’Arcy as Bishop and Carla Gugino as Eve are almost too believable as the murderous sadists who “run everything,” to use a phrase from Eve herself. The cameos weirdly include Marilyn Manson (as the bartended – without his normal makeup) and Nick Lachey (yes, that Nick Lachey) and several other familiar faces.

It’s violent and sexy and dark and full of action, and not the type of film I’m usually into, but I like this one quite a bit. If you like vampire movies and can stand some graphic scenes, I’d definitely recommend this movie.