THE RISENWritten, Produced, Directed, Edited, and Photographed by Scott Klein
Co-Produced by Arlene So
Arthur Roth - Michael Edan
Jonathan Stillman - Gene Dove
Adrian Roth - Anne Connolly
Rebecca - Rebecca Nyahay
Arthur Roth has a secret. To tell it to you would be doing you a great disservice. Part of the immense enjoyment from viewing director Scott Klien's THE RISEN comes from watching how every character's story unfolds. THE RISEN is that rare film where plot doesn't dictate the characters and their motivations, but just the opposite. Every relationship's complexity fuels each twist driving the story, not the formula. Telling you Arthur's secret would be cheating you of the surprise.
Arthur is a smart man who has allowed himself to be shortchanged by life. Not only is his wife, Adrian, a ball and chain to his misery, but his job shackles his other leg. Arthur works for the cemetery digging graves with his much younger partner Jonathan. It's hard labor with little financial reward, something Adrian used to keep Arthur under her yoke.
Dogged by his nagging wife day in and day out, Arthur finds comfort in Rebecca, a woman whose intentions don't parallel his own. She doesn't so much love Arthur as she loves what he can do for her.
And that is where Arthur's secret comes into play.
In a moment of weakness, Arthur allows himself to glow in the eyes of his peers. But the limelight will soon fade as the realization that tomorrow means nothing more than another day at the cemetery, breaking his back for little more minimum wage. Something his wife will never let him forget.
Arthur is similar to the narrator in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart". While their crimes are vastly different, their predicaments are similar; the ghosts of past actions haunt both.
Shot in stark black and white to emphasis both sides of the coin, THE RISEN is a morality tale. The irony is that what's right and wrong aren't always so black and white. All of our actions have consequences, but they are often not what we expect, or deserve.
The overall feel of the film is something along the lines of "film noir horror". It plays like DOUBLE INDEMNITY with overtones of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Not two films you would immediately identified with one another, but both classics in their respective genres.
Unlike Arthur, I'm not one for keeping secrets. THE RISEN is underground horror that people should talk about. Check it out.