In anticipation of the upcoming Tomb Raider release starring Alicia Vikander on March 16th, here is a listing of my favorite Tomb Raider Fan Films. For those who are surprisingly not aware of the Tomb Raider video game franchise, the main character is Lara Croft, an English archaeologist who travels the world searching for lost artifacts and exploring tombs, and she is one of the greatest video game characters of all time. What attracted me to the video game series was my love for archaeology and one of my favorite films Raiders of the Lost Ark. I spent many nights exploring deep tombs, running from dinosaurs, solving puzzles, and doing flips while rapidly firing my dual pistols. There were two Tomb Raider films made in 2001 and 2003 starring Angelina Jolie, but unfortunately, they were not that good and left much to be desired. So far I like what I see from the 2018 film and hoping the film and Alicia Vikander can do the character justice. So this leads me to my Tomb Raider Fan Film list. There are quite a bit of fan films out there for Lara and some are so good and enjoyable they deserve to be talked about. Before the list, I’ve provided a couple of my favorite fan film trailers as well which I truly hope that someday could be an actual fan film.
TOMB RAIDER REBORN
Tomb Raider: Reborn is a French Fan Film Trailer (which looks like it was to be an actual fan film) and produced by Oniryk Productions. I just had to include this one as the trailer looks incredible, and cosplayer Tiphaine Vaudable looks great as Lara Croft. The special effects and wonderful scenery used in the trailer has me hoping this will turn out to be a full fan film. It’s supposed to but it has been in production for years with the last updates being in 2016, but I’m still hopeful. If not, well . . . we’ll always have this outstanding trailer. There is a second trailer that is equally as exciting and Oniryk has some behind the scenes footage here. Also, you can check out the official Facebook page, if interested in following the production of the film in hopes for more updates.
RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER
The group at Freakin Rad really outdid themselves with this trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider. From the very opening, there are aerial shots which are just amazing, along with some fantastic lighting inside the caves of ice, a roaring avalanche crashing behind our heroine, and . . . a bear! But that’s not all! There is also a good epic soundtrack by Tiko Lasala to go with it. I can only hope that this trailer leads to a longer film as it seems Freakin’ Rad, along with Renny Grames as Lara Croft, can definitely pull it off.
TOMB RAIDER: RELIC OF TIME
I was going to stop at two trailers but then stumbled across this new fan film trailer which was just published March 2018. Tomb Raider: Relic of Time is by Jesse Pitela films and stars Tahnee Harrison as Lara Croft. Everything looks incredible here. The various costumes, the locations, the special effects, are all top notch. Also, the pounding music adds that extra spice for an all-around epic experience. I don’t think this will turn into a full fan film, but I’d surely be on board if it did. Great work!
THE FAN FILMS
7. BOOM RAIDER
This fan film written and directed by Nicholas Cleary was published in 2016 by Fury Fingers. It’s a fun film that has elements from video games and a bit of comedy, however, it is a bit more violent than other Lara fan films with some slashing and blood spray but nothing that takes away from the fun film this group has created. Cosplayer Shiveejam makes for a fun Lara Croft who is just a joy to watch and apparently she even made her costume. Down to her last arrow, Lara finds a path through enemy soldiers via an explosive barrel. But getting the right angle and shot can prove difficult… Based on ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider.
6. TOMB RAIDER: THE ENDLESS PATH
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Endless Path is a 2012 fan film written and directed by Daniele Misischia of Noose Industry and starring Marta Pecchia as Lara. It is an Italian fan film, with English subtitles, which has Lara, wounded and exhausted, questioning how long she can live this adventurous lifestyle as she makes her way down an endless path of traps and other dangers. The film is well paced with just a bit of action, and Marta makes a striking Lara who also does a great job with the voiceover.
5. LARA CROFT VS NATHAN DRAKE
This fan film from 2012 is part of Bat in the Sun’s Super Power Beat Down web series where various characters from comics and video games are pitted against one another and the result is up to the fans. This episode has Lara Croft (Tess Kielhamer) against Nathan Drake (Chandler Maness) of the Uncharted video game series. A lighthearted tone and plenty of good action help this one stand out. The action and interaction between the two are highly enjoyable and I would love to see these two characters adventure together once again.
4. LARA CROFT: RAIDER ORIGINS
Lara Croft: Raider Origins is a 2013 fan film directed by Jerome Kruin, written by Andrew M. Henderson, and stars Irina Andreea as Lara. The story takes place on the island where Lara’s plane is shot down and she is forced to survive on her own. The action is solid and Irina Andreea does a great job showcasing Lara’s distress as well as her transition to being a survivor. Definitely a recommended watch.
3. TOMB RAIDER: ASCENSION
Tomb Raider: Ascension is a 2007 fan film written and directed by Stephen Reynolds and starring Anna Tyrie as Lara. Ascension is unlike a lot of the other Lara Croft fan films as it is 1 hour long (longest I’ve seen) and it is not action focused. Ascension is more dramatic and slowly builds up to the action in the end. Anna Tyrie really adds a spark to the film as Lara Croft and is what really kept me going in the film. The only way I can describe the film is subtlety. Everything, from the pace, the acting, the action is subtle and I loved it. When Lara finally hits the caverns, it’s not a rush to see her quickly in action, you experience the pace and her time alone in the dark as she gets closer to her treasured goal. Like the title meaning, my appreciation for the film climbed more and more through the very end. It’s just a really well-done job here and I truly wish there was a sequel by the same team as I’d love to see more. Kudos to everyone involved! Anna Tyrie is quite active on YouTube and other social media where you can follow her on her many adventures as she lives her exciting life to the fullest.
2. LARA CROFT: AFTER ISLAND
Lara Croft: After Island is a 2014 Polish Fan Film directed by Randall Martin and starring Marta Marzecka as Lara. Taking place after Lara’s recent events on the island, Lara is relaxing when an unexpected visitor breaks into her room. The action is fantastic due to some excellent stunt choreography and it is interesting to see a couple video game flashback sequences. The only con is that the 5 minute run time is quite short for how great this is. I really wish it was longer. Plenty to enjoy here! Great job by everyone!
This 2013 Fan Film, Croft, by CanCinema is my favorite fan film period. The film is based on the Lara Croft video game series and our heroine must battle numerous mercenaries to save a young girl who is being held hostage. The film stars Cassandra Ebner who is just outstanding portraying our heroine who gives everything she has to try and save the young hostage. Kudos to the directing of Trevor Addie, as the action is excellent and absolutely a thrill to watch. It is a more serious tone and a bit more gritty versus the Hollywood version with Angelina Jolie that came out years back, but I find Croft to be so much better. Everyone in the film just does an amazing job. Hold on to your socks viewers, because 20 minutes never felt so short!
So that wraps it up. Kudos to everyone involved for their outstanding hard work and dedication to complete these enjoyable films, that are not only for those involved but for the fans as well. The fan films seem to get better and better and I look forward to many more wonderful creations.