Disclaimer: this is full of spoilers, but there's more value in discussing the plot of this movie abstractly than actually watching it.Rise of the Dead
misleadingly follows the title pattern of zombie movies (ending with "-of the Dead"). And it starts out looking like a really lame bunch of zombies in a very slow take-over of a town. The attackers also make low moaning sounds like you've seen in every zombie movie, so it's not unreasonable to come away with that impression. Before long, you figure out that the shambling attackers are actually just live people possessed by the ghost of a baby. That secret is revealed after maybe the first third of the movie, so I'm not giving much away.
Then we move on to the mystery required in recent ghost movies, not just escaping from the ghost but finding out why it's attacking and how it can be satisfied. Here's major spoiler #1: in this case, the ghost infant is possessing people in order to systematically kill his adoptive parents, foster parents, and to be with his birth mother again.
Our heroine, the birth mother who gave him up for adoption, resolves the problem in a unique and fascinating way, but it seems like maybe the filmmakers didn't notice a pretty major taboo they were breaking, to my mind more disgusting than some of the sickest gore. Ready for spoiler #2?
In the climax, the young mother is attacked by her boyfriend who is possessed by the ghost of her son. She stops him from advancing by calling her son's name (the name given to him by his adoptive parents) and talking to the ghost, not talking to him as the boyfriend. She hugs him and consoles him while the possessed boyfriend moans in a high voice, I guess to show that an infant ghost is controlling him. Then she lies him on his back and pulls his pants off. Has he messed himself? Is he haunting her because he died with his diaper needing to be changed?
Then she pulls her pants down. Then she climbs on top of him. I'm not sure if their movements and moaning were too ambiguous or if I just couldn't believe what I was seeing for a few seconds, but she's clearly having sex with her boyfriend. Who is possessed by the ghost of her son.
Boyfriend keeps up his high moaning, not a very sexual sound. Thankfully it's not a marathon session. Mother slumps over and boyfriend's moaning changes from high to low before he says, "What happened?"
"He's back with his mother now
," she announces.
Next scene is a few months later and she asks boyfriend to feel her belly because the baby is kicking. Eerie music plays. The End.
So on the one hand, it's interesting to think of a ghost that wants to be born through his own mother again. Is he displacing the soul that should have gone there and taking the body that should have gone to his sibling? Slightly silly to think that conception begins at the exact moment of ejaculation, but still a fresh idea.
Except that her boyfriend is spiritually absent from the situation. The consciousness that experiences having sex with her is her infant son.
What is the moral of the story?
1. Christians can create curses even more devastating than Gypsies.
2. You shouldn't give a kid up for adoption, but you can make up for it later by having pedophilic, necrophilic and incestuous sex with the ghost of your son. Then you can live happily ever after with the child who killed its grandmother, its adoptive parents, its foster parents, lots of bystanders, and attempted to murder you. Knit some booties and roll credits.