Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions
“House of the Rising Sun” is a 2011 action film and vehicle for Dave Bautista, who rose to fame as WWE wrestler Batista and has since appeared in blockbusters including “Bladerunner 2049” and the Marvel superhero films as Drax the Destroyer, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In “House of the Rising Sun,” he plays Ray, an ex-con hunted by both police and mobsters who believe he shot the son of his nightclub-owner boss. The film also stars Amy Smart (“The Butterfly Effect,”) Dominic Purcell (“The Flash” tv series) and legendary tough-guy Danny Trejo.
“House of the Rising Sun” was the second feature directed by Grand Rapids native Brian A. Miller. Miller graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in 1993 and studied acting and film at Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University. He moved to Los Angeles in 2003, and about six years later got the green-light to direct his first feature, “Crossfire,” also shot here in Grand Rapids. After “House of the Rising Sun” he moved on to action projects with bugger budgets, including two Bruce Willis films and 2018’s “Backtrace” starring Sylvester Stallone.
Grand Rapids in winter serves as a cold, gray backdrop for gritty characters in much of “House of the Rising Sun.” Check out the clip above in which Ray meets up with “Charlie,” played by Craig Fairbrass (whose voice you may recognize from the “Call of Duty” video games) on the steps of the Grand Rapids Arts Museum as kids ice-skate in Rosa Parks circle. The film also features a cameo by Grand Rapids native Brian Vander Ark, frontman for the rock band The Verve Pipe and radio DJ on WLAV.
Cover: Poster for “House of the Rising Sun,” 2011, Grindstone Entertainment.