Movie Review: The Wake (2017)

June 6, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

A group of attractive people manage to mow down a kid while doing the ol’ DWI bag and then find themselves stalked and slayed by a maniac wearing a burlap sack over his head. It’s like Jason Voorhees knows what you did last summer with The Wake. To elaborate, after our “heroes” murder said child, they are invited to his wake by his mother, and for some outrageous reason they actually go, only to be drugged and bound within a house lit only by blue lighting (seriously…every. damn. scene. Blue, blue, blue…). The group then slowly (and I mean slowly…more on that in a bit) meander around the house and occasionally have a go-around with the dude in the sack mentioned previous.

Let’s start with a few nice things to say about The Wake. Let’s see…there were a few unexpected elements that added a bit of freshness to this somewhat pedestrian affair; namely, the dude driving the car actually admits to the crime, and the killer is unmasked way before the end. You don’t see things like that everyday in slasher flicks, and I appreciated the effort, no matter how minimal, to be original. Also, the killer’s mask was cool, and while being of the burlap sack variety it does impress with it’s “face”, and there is a twist included in the narrative that I found fun (though I of course won’t be spillin’ the beastly beans here on the details of that one my creeps). Moving on…

First up, The Wake doesn’t know if it wants to be a self aware Scream clone, or a straight up fright flick. The characters alternate between being aware of the tropes of the genre to being completely guilty of following the beats without a hint of the ol’ “wink wink” biz. It’s like the script started out one way, then mutated and no one bothered to change the two halves to match. Another problem with this one is that the middle gets a real case of “lead in ass” as the characters just wander around for a long spell with nothing really to do…it makes slogging through a grind which is insane given this film’s brief run time (86 minutes if you are keeping score at home). also, the “kills”…the whole reason we watch these things…are rather uninspired and play out very similar to one another.

And that’s that; The Wake is an “okay” slasher that won’t set your world on fire, nor will you regret the time you spend with it…the film is competently made, I just wish the pacing and story were tighter and more inspired respectively.



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