“Reign of Chaos” Review

Written by Brian Skutle

It’d be unfair to the makers of “Reign of Chaos” to simply criticize them for trying to make a post-apocalyptic monster movie that probably would be best served with higher production values. Given the likely limitations of budget, I think director Rebecca Matthews did as well as she could in creating the world of this film, and since it feels like an extension of our current pandemic landscape, I’d say it captures the anxiety of such a world fairly well. Does the story merit it? That’s another issue.

“Reign of Chaos” begins with five minutes of expository narration, which in and of itself is more concerning than the film’s production values. We learn that Chaos (Mark Sears) is a self-proclaimed God whom has set out to unleash destruction on humanity. Standing in their way, though, is the bloodline of a Goddess, whose descendants can defeat him. Few remain, however, but Nicole (Rebecca Finch) might be the key that Rhodri (Peter Cosgrove) has been searching for.

I couldn’t help but feel as though writer Tom Jolliffe simply condensed the premise of season seven of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in his screenplay, although having the “watcher” in this case look like a cosplay of Torgo from “Manos: The Hands of Fate” was a choice. The narrative follows familiar territory of destiny, the hero’s journey, and attempts at female empowerment that seem undercut by the film clothing the three “chosen ones” in skin-tight leather suits for the climax. The action and visual effects, especially during the climax, are where this film’s budgetary limits are felt the most. “Reign of Chaos” has some decent ideas, and on the whole, I was into it, but it struggles to make us care about the end result.

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