Directed by: Faouzi Brahimi, Bryan Brewer
Cast: Bryan Brewer, Allie Rivera, Darla Delgado, Michael Aaron Milligan
The Wake isn’t what I’d call an original film. In fact, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a particularly good film, either. But, having said that, I’ve got to extend a little respect in the direction of filmmakers Faouzi Brahimi and Bryan Brewer. They try to give viewers something new, and that deserves a little bit of credit, even if the attempt is made in vain. The cast is in a similar boat. There are no truly refined performers in the movie, but this green cast at least dedicates themselves to the project, even if their deliveries often come across as stiff and awkward. Again, they’re trying. That’s worth something, right?
The story itself requires little detailing. While out cruising and drinking a young man hits and kills a child. Fast forward and the man who killed the kid, along with an assortment of his buddies show up at the youngster’s wake. They’re there to… pay respect… I guess. As you’re figuring, there’s more to this wake than meets the eye, and soon, the entire group is fighting to survive an encounter with an armed madman who aims to send these losers to the fiery pit.
Beyond the rough acting, some sketchy editing (there are some seriously rocky transitions in the film) and cliché premise, problems abound for The Wake. It’s loaded with face-palm inducing decisions and characters. In fact, the characters and their decisions are so off-putting you’ll likely be hard-pressed to find one single personality in the film that you can actually root for. I mean, come on – the dumb ass who got drunk and killed the kid? He’s sipping alcohol (along with his buddies) just a minute or so after arriving at the boy’s wake. If that’s not an unbelievably baffling and disgusting decision, I simply don’t know what is. Keep in mind, that’s just one example of horrendous storytelling. There are countless other awful decisions that I won’t waste my time writing about.
What The Wake is, is an idea that, while familiar, could have been twisted into a compelling character study with compassionate players involved. Instead we get a movie that operates from a script that was written by someone astoundingly insensitive and completely devoid of tact or understanding tense scenarios. It’s unfortunate to say, but the script (it really does feel as though a few teenagers wrote the script) buried this picture before it ever began. The fact that someone managed to get this movie made and distributed – while talents like George Romero have difficulty in getting films made – is a miracle. A miracle of grating thoughtlessness.