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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Dark Moon Rising (2015)

Film Review: Dark Moon Rising (2015)

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A group of werewolves cause death and destruction in a small town as they search for a young woman who has the power to destroy them all.


I love werewolves and think that they have pretty much gotten the shaft over the last couple of years. If you ask me the last really good werewolf movie to come along was Ginger Snaps back in 2000 and there hasn’t really been a decent one since (Dog Soldiers was decent, but it just wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be). I always try to be optimistic when a new werewolf flick hits the scene, but all too often I am pretty let down by it and end up being utterly disappointed after checking it out. I was pretty excited to see Dark Moon Rising as I thought that it might just be something special, but sadly I realized about five minutes into it that I was wrong. I really, really wanted to like it but thanks to the boring premise (that was all over the place), horrible acting, and atrocious special effects I just couldn’t do it. I thought that it was a convoluted mess of a film that didn’t know exactly what it was supposed to be and when everything was said and done I felt like I wasted my time watching it.

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Without a doubt the film’s biggest flaw is its premise. It is a mix between Twilight and The Lost Boys with a little bit of X-Men thrown in for good measure. The plot is a little hard to follow at times (thanks mostly in part to the horrible editing) and I spent most of the time that I was watching it trying to figure out just what the hell was going on. I thought that it was more than a little confusing and it seemed to me that writer/director Justin Price didn’t know himself what he wanted to do with the film. Is it a horror film? An action/adventure flick? A love story? I really have no clue and I don’t think that anyone involved with it really quite knew either. It’s a shame really, because had this film been handled the right way it could have been a very fun little flick about werewolves invading a little town and killing the hell out of everyone that they came across instead of how it turned out.

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I also thought that the acting was pretty bad from everyone involved. The only one that almost does a decent job is Stasi Esper, who plays Dawn (and she is nothing to write home about). The biggest majority of the acting is downright terrible and even Eric Roberts-who pops up for about five minutes or so-does a pretty piss poor job. In fact, I think he should probably be ashamed of himself his performance is so bad this time around (what was up with that horrible accent he is using?) and it is obvious that he was only a part of this film because he was making some quick cash (I guess he had a car payment to make or something and needed some money). I usually dig the parts that he plays and ordinarily he is on it, but he definitely phoned it in this time and looked as though he wanted to just be somewhere else. Without a doubt though, the worst actor in the film was Matthew Simmons.

Simmons plays this annoying werewolf character named Gecko (Gecko!?!? Yeah, I don’t know either) and is just laughably bad. I think that he thinks that he is Wolverine or something (hell, he has the same hair and everything) and he just stinks up the screen every single time he is on it. From his poor attempt to play a badass to the ridiculous voice he uses there is nothing good about his performance and I actually couldn’t help but feel a little bad for him. I don’t know if he is just really that bad of an actor or if his lines were just that poorly written (which is probably the case) but he definitely gives the weakest performance of the movie (which is saying a lot). If you are looking for likable characters and top-notch acting you’ve come to the wrong place.

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I also feel that I have to mention how terrible the special effects were as well. I know that this was a low budget film and that the people behind it probably didn’t have a whole lot of money to spend while making it, but come on! The CGI effects are some of the worst that I have seen in a long time and I wonder why they didn’t use more practical effects as I am sure that they would have looked a lot better in the long run. At times it felt like I was watching cut scenes from a video game or something and they only got progressively worse as the movie went on. The werewolves look terrible, the transformation scenes are beyond awful, and if you ask me there is absolutely no excuse to use CGI blood under any circumstance as it is fairly cheap and easy to make your own blood using food coloring and a bottle of Karo syrup. I’ve seen a lot of really bad CGI in my day but the ones that are used in this film really take the cake.

Dark-Moon-Rising-2015-movie--Justin-Price-(1) Dark-Moon-Rising-2015-movie--Justin-Price-(10)

I wasn’t impressed with Dark Moon Rising as you can probably tell. Before I watched it I looked it up on IMDB and saw that it had a ton of positive reviews as well as a ranking of 8.8 overall. It is apparent to me that the people that wrote these reviews and gave it such a high ranking were all either involved with the production or friends of people who worked on the film because it is just an all around lousy film in a lot of ways. Skip it unless it sounds like something that you would be into, but trust me when I say that it really isn’t worth your time.



  1. You are spot on with this review. I was reading an article where justin price praised his scores on imdb and twitter responses. But then i got to thinking that they must be from friends and people associated with the production… as well as film school students… speaking of which, this reminded me not even of a film school production, but as the film an aspiring artist would submit to obtain submission into film school… even the soundtrack along with rave scenes makes me feel out of place with the movie.

    Then your review hit the nail on the preverbial head for me when you mention CGI… I have seen 70s horror flicks beat this film to a pulp using old fashion makeup and fake blood special effects…

    And eric Roberts… don’t get me started… in the latest movies he’s been in he plays a drunk and mostly that’s because they say he is drunk as of late… I’m still confused what his roll was in this movie.

    I wonder if the screenplay was as confusing as the movie was? I liked that he tried to put a new twist on werewolves having special abilities and being able to astro turf to a fantasy world, but it looked cartoonist to me regardless what they did with editing…

    then the article with justin price further claims he has two other sequels planned for this ‘franchise’ as he calls it, makes me very worried… and that this movie was to lay character Foundation. I left the movie still confused on who was who… not one character was laid out to me clearly… I didn’t know who anyone was, where they were from, or what their background really cemented… except dawn being the savior or destroyer of their species… and only at the end we learn she is called the apex… still every character and storyline in this movie seems out of the blue and thrown at the audience.

  2. Totally agree. Apart from the sh*t acing especially from Mr White, there’s continuity errors coming out of my ears!! Had trouble following the plot, and whats with hearing their thoughts?

  3. I love horror movies. In saying that let me say this, this “movie” is the worse piece of sh*t i’ve ever seen… period. I couldn’t even watch the whole thing as it fails on EVERY possible level! I’d say more but i’e wasted enough time on it. Next?

  4. The first scene seemed out of place, it’s like they had a clip from the middle of the movie and accidentally moved it to the beginning. I mean honestly, where’s the suspense when you know what the wolf looks like after 2 minutes. Who the hell does that? American Werewolf? nope. Gingersnaps? nope. bad dogs? nope. Cursed? nope(only it’s head briefly). Hell even twilight new better than to reveal the “monster” that soon in the movie.

    I ended up watching half the movie on fast forward because I couldn’t stand the soundtrack. Horrible acting and especially horrible CGI (give me a few days and I could produce a better looking werewolf on blender). I thought it might be decent after looking at the imdb review but that was obviously extremely biased. I gave it a bit of a shot, figured as bad as it was (and as good of reviews it had), it either got a lot better further into the movie or at least had some great sex scenes. It had neither happen.

    I ended up taking the disk out at the end of the movie and snapping it into two pieces to make sure I never feel the urge to watch it again.

  5. Your movie sucks a$$, did you guys only have 1,000 dollars to make it.


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