The Wake (2017) Movie Review

Chances are, if you grew up in the ’90s, you are familiar with I Know What You Did Last Summer, a slasher film about a group of friends who accidentally kill someone and cover it up, only to be stalked by someone who knows what they did the following year. The Wake is a film whose set up owes a great debt to I Know What You Did Last Summer. The Wake follows a group of friends who accidentally run over and kill a child when they are driving drunk. They decide to attend the child’s wake and wind up being attacked by a masked killer. 

The Wake was directed by Faouzi Brahimi (Getting Worse 2014) and Bryan Brewer (The Raking 2017) from a script by Bryan Brewer. The film is based on a story by Brewer and Allie Rivera and stars Bryan Brewer Allie Rivera (The Raking 2017), Darla Delgado (Amigo Undead 2015), Michael Aaron Milligan (Siren 2016), Kristen Dalton and Amanda Musso (Blood Shot 2013).

Five friends attend the wake of the young boy they accidentally killed a few days earlier, only to find themselves entrapped in what may become a funeral of their own.

What I Liked

The Wake is a fairly standard yet enjoyable slasher film. A big part of what I liked was the characters. They all were likable and relatable, even though they were flawed people. They knew they fucked up and they didn’t really try to hide it. The actors all did a good job with there respective roles, lending the characters believability. The location of the house gives the film a claustrophobic feels and makes things tense at times. The look of the killer is a cross between burlap bag Jason Voorhees and Scarecrow from DC Comics. The killer’s look and movements were pretty unnerving.

What I Didn’t Like

The kills, for the most part, are a little on the tame side for me. Most of it is off screen or we just see the aftermath. What we do see is some pretty routine stabbings and a torn out heart at the end. I can’t really go into much detail about this for fear of spoilers, but there is a twist to who the killer is and a twist ending. Once the killer twist was revealed, I started to lose interest but stuck it out. Then there was a major twist that quickly took the movie out of the slasher subgenre and made it something else entirely. I’m sure this was done as a way to set the film apart from other slasher films, but for me, it just made me not care anymore. The ending didn’t really make a whole lot of sense and flat out pissed me off.

Final Thoughts

The Wake is solid and enjoyable slasher film but my enjoyment was brought down a bit due to the last act twist that I really didn’t care for and a lack of on screen kills. That being said, other people might appreciate the twist more than I did and be fine with the lack of gore. If you like slasher films with final act twists, then I recommend you check out The Wake, which is available on VOD.

About Charlie Cargile

Central Illinois based film journalist. Lover of cinema of all varieties but in love with films with an independent spirit. Elder Emo. Cat Dad. Metalhead.

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