Mankind’s fate is in the balance and it will be decided by the events that unfold in an anonymous business park in north Kent.

Vibe was invited down to the set of horror films The Rizen and The Rizen II, which are being shot back-to-back in Swanscombe.

The first movie is set in the 1950s and follows three characters trapped in a military compound. They are led by Frances (played by stunt woman Laura Swift).

Co-director and co-writer Matt Mitchell told us: “The Allied forces were trying to mix science and magic – tech and blood – to harness a power source that would change the landscape of power on this planet.”

Frances, he said, is the failsafe being prepared to clean up should anything go wrong on the project.

“Spoiler alert – it goes wrong,” said Mitchell. “Unfortunately things go wrong a little too early and Frances, although she is primed to save the world, she doesn’t yet know she has got to and she doesn’t know how to. So that’s the challenge and we’re along for the ride.”

For budgetary reasons, The Rizen is being shot back-to-back with The Rizen II - which takes place in the present day - though the constraint is also helpful in allowing the filmmakers to establish a consistent world linking the two stories.

Producer Clare Pearce told us the two films fit together in a similar way to the sci-fi/horror classics Alien and Aliens.

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Mitchell said: “It’s a weird thing. It’s a very personal thing with me, and with Tali (co-director and co-writer Taliesyn Mitchell) as well, if you have some kind of a restriction on storytelling it gives you a framework to build around.

“We knew we had to reuse locations and we had to reuse certain things, yet it meant strangely we could expand the story.”

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Vibe was taken on a tour of The Rizen’s warehouse, containing super-realistic tunnels, 1950s offices and a room we don’t know how to describe other than to say it was seriously creepy.

Shooting on sets is a step up for the Mitchells and Pearce, who have made three previous feature films together under their Lost Eye Films banner.

Pearce said: “The first film was so low budget we shot most of it in a van and locations we could get for free. Then we were paying for locations and in this one we’re actually building the locations.

“It’s a different beast, but it’s a better beast.”

In fact, so convincing is their Swanscombe set that it even tricked some of the cast who, after spending some time in it, forgot it was made especially for the movie.

Not all of it is being shot in the warehouse.

Pearce explained: “We have shot in Gravesend with Sally Phillips and other areas.

“We have literally got the whole of Kent helping us shoot this film. Yesterday we were shooting in some woods. We managed to find a really nice farmer who was like ‘you need woods? Come and shoot in my woods’.

“We have had loads and loads of businesses helping us. Film Kent helps us all the time.”

Mitchell added: “I think it’s one of those things where if people see you pouring your heart and soul into something they’ll help, which is cool.”

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It is perhaps a sign of The Rizen’s ambition that, for a low-budget movie, it boasts a genuinely impressive cast including the likes of Julian Rhind-Tutt (Green Wing), Tom Goodman-Hill (Olivier nominated for Spamalot), Sally Phillips (Smack the Pony, the Bridget Jones films) and Ade Edmonson (Bottom, The Young Ones).

After our tour, we were shown some early footage which included intense scenes featuring a sinister turn from Phillips, who we are more used to seeing in comedic fare.

“Sally Phillips, I would work with her any day," said Pearce.

Mitchell added: “She was genuinely really funny chatting as a person.

“She had this really theatrical character - the apotheosis of all evil, she called it – and you see her standing in front of a conference table with a group of fifties scientists on the other side.

“We’re shooting her back and you can’t see anything except their faces and she stands there for 20 seconds and suddenly everyone is laughing and smiling. It’s like she opens the fridge door and the light comes on.”

When it came to her performance, the pair were mightily impressed.

Pearce said: “When you see the footage, we have so cast the right people in these roles. You see Sally Phillips in a scary role and you totally believe it.

“Ade was the same. I think because they don’t often get to play evil characters…

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The cast and crew of The Rizen with Ade Edmonson.

Mitchell added: “It is one of those things where you work to get the performance but you don’t really work because you are building up to it over a series of takes, because they get it.”

Shooting on The Rizen films began in July and is due to wrap in February. The team at Lost Eye hope to produce a trailer in time for the Cannes Film Festival in May before targeting a theatrical release towards the end of next year.