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Saw 'The Wake', being fond of horror regardless of budget (even if not my favourite genre) and being intrigued somewhat by the idea. Being behind on my film watching and reviewing, with a long to watch and review list that keeps getting longer, it took me a while to get round to reviewing it.
Unfortunately, despite not reading any reviews purposefully before watching, am going to have to agree with all the reviewers who hated 'The Wake'. It doesn't even start off good, with an opening that doesn't really add or say much, and rapidly got even worse by a second half that makes one not want to keep watching. Never judge a film without seeing the whole thing and wanted to give 'The Wake', so gave it a fair chance.
Setting is spooky, but wasted by the cheapness of the rest of the production values.
However, so much brings 'The Wake' down. The cast struggle to do much with so little to do and the direction is so phoned in and pedestrian, one gets the sense that the director showed no interest in the film at all. Too much of the soundtrack is intrusive and ill-fitting, made worse by the excessive and obvious sound effects that just cheapens the mood. The film looks drab generally and like it was made in haste.
Where 'The Wake' most underwhelms is the writing and story. The writing is incredibly lazy and so cringe-worthy taking it seriously is impossible, it's awkward in dialogue, very confused as a result of not tying things up or going into full detail and doesn't feel complete. The story suffers from a very limp pace apparent early on and gets slower and slower until an interminably dragged out second half. It further suffers from feeling too much like a short film stretched out with a lot of useless padding. None of the characters are likeable, little is learnt about them and they are annoying, the inconsistent and illogical motivations bring them down further. The acting ranges from bad to downright terrible, a lot of sleepwalking and histrionics and that they don't seem to care about their situation let alone frightened of it is especially obvious.
For a film billed as a horror, there is very little interesting and nothing remotely scary. They are too few and are far too predictable, anaemic and weakly timed to make impact, with the dull pacing and obvious sound effects cheapening them significantly. 'The Wake' doesn't engage let alone thrill, and a lot of it is silly to unintentional hilarity and doesn't make sense with a fair few loose ends. No creative moments and a poorly used villain that lacks any kind of menace. The ending is a head-scratcher, both in confusion and how little it feels like an ending.
Overall, the potential was there but the execution far from was. Really awful, unless you're curious about seeing it it's best to avoid this. 1/10 Bethany Cox
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