‘Stay in the light’
The Raking is a 2017 American horror film about college students who go on trip to research an urban-legend, The Rake.
Directed by and starring Bryan Brewer (The Wake) from a screenplay co-written with Laura Greenman Heine. Produced by Bryan Brewer, Laura Greenman Heine and Allie Rivera.
The Lesson 1 Entertainment production also stars also Cree Kelly, Allie Rivera, Thatcher Robinson and Marshal Hilton.
A group of college co-eds embark on a weekend-long camping trip as part of a Cultural Anthropology project to research an internet “creepypasta” urban legend.
Having settled upon the Joshua Tree legend of the “The Rake,” a terrifying, long-clawed humanoid creature who emerges to feed only on the Equinox, which happens to be tomorrow, Kennedy, Jade, Noah and their TA, Ethan, head deep into the desert to chase the myth and prove the story untrue; what they find, however, chases them and has them fighting for their lives!
In a pre-credit sequence, a bickering family find themselves stranded in the desert, where the parents are picked off by an unseen monster. Fast forward twenty years and a bunch of students and teachers – one of whom has a mysterious scar on his arm – head out to the same desert in order to shoot a documentary film about The Rake, a mysterious urban myth that you just know will be the same creature that cropped up in the early scenes. Inevitably, things go very bad for all involved, but not before a great deal of nothing happens.
Unfortunately, ‘just knowing’ is the main problem with The Raking, which is a collection of horror movie stereotypes and clichés combined with the monsters from The Descent and all the curses of micro-budget genre films (bad acting, clumsy dialogue, everything too dark) to create a film that is decidedly underwhelming.
The film has its moments, usually involving the derivative but still impressive monster, but it doesnt get enough screen time, and much of the film has a gaggle of uninteresting characters locked in a cabin emoting badly. The gore levels are minimal and it’s just not remotely scary, despite the best efforts of everyone involved.
Writer/director/producer/editor Bryan Brewer is also the main star, while goth girl Allie Rivera is also a producer and pops up several times (costume design, editor), and no doubt this is some sort of labour of love for them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it a good film. You end up rather wishing that it had been a film about a killer garden rake instead.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA
” …this is torpedoed by an endless midsection in which the cast […] sit around talking for what seems like an eternity. Practical creatures are all too rare in genre movies, but this film’s antagonist (resembling an inbred cousin of the crawlers from The Descent movies) is unimpressive, and the film limps its way to an inept “shock” ending.” HorrorScreams Videovault
” …it’s basically a slasher movie/creature feature, with most of the expected genre elements firmly intact. But that doesn’t say the film isn’t scary as hell, features jump scares and genuine and even inventive gruesomeness in all the right spots and does feature some nice surprises and surprising plot twists despite its formulaic narrative.” Search My Trash
Cast and characters:
Bryan Brewer … Ethan
Cree Kelly … Kennedy
Allie Rivera … Jade
Thatcher Robinson … Noah
Marshal Hilton … James
Marisa Davila … Kelly
Alan Maxson … The Rake
Nick Gomez … Bartender
Peyton McDavitt … Carla
Chandler Rylko … George
Brock Brenner … Young Ethan
Dane Johnson … Good Samaritan
Paul Lauden … Camcorder / Cave Rake
Joshua Tree, California
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1
The Raking was released by Brain Damage Films on DVD via and most VOD platforms on March 7, 2017.
Full film free to watch online: