In a surprising twist of fate, I truly loved this film. It is exactly what I was hoping for from the series, with a reprisal of two of the strongest characters that were missing from the first sequel and a battle of epic proportions! Set hundreds of years in the past, Rise tells the tale of a tragic love story between the daughter of the vampire lord Viktor who has fallen in love with her father's slave, the werewolf Lucian. There is a pretty even blend of computer FX and physical FX, but while the costumes for the vampire and werewolf legions look amazing, many fans will not be able to overlook the excessive use of computerized imagery and blood. I am usually the first to complain in a case such as this, but the majority of the scenes where the computer FX are most apparent couldnt be achieved on this scale using practical FX. The environments and dark castle settings all make for a creepy and Gothic atmosphere, maintaining the same moody blue filters from the previous films and draped in fog. There are a number of huge battle sequences between the clans that are simply awesome, but what I enjoyed most was the back story that does each of the characters justice and makes it a most gratifying prequel. While a few key actors have been replaced, each of the leads offer strong performances, and the film perfectly fits into the previous entries. Though the filmmaking here does not surpass that of the original, any fans of the original MUST seek this film out! I felt it was the most entertaining of the three, and completely blew away all expectations and satisfied my curiosities behind the series' history and mythology.