The Raking (2017) reviews

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‘Stay in the light’

The Raking is a 2017 American supernatural horror feature film starring and directed by Bryan Brewer (The Wake) from a screenplay co-written with Laura Greenman Heine. It stars also Cree Kelly, Allie Rivera, Thatcher Robinson and Marshal Hilton.

Plot:

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.

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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!

Review:

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 – or creatures – that cropped up in the early scenes. Inevitably, things go very bad for all involved, but not before a great deal of nothing happening.

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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 monsters, but they don’t get enough screen time, and much of the film has a gaggle of uninteresting characters locked in a cabin emoting badly. The monsters get little screen time, 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 lead 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

Other reviews:

” …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

Main cast:

  • Bryan Brewer
  • Laura Greenman Heine
  • Cree Kelly, Allie Rivera
  • Thatcher Robinson
  • Marshal Hilton – Blood Angel; Bunnyman Vengeance; Teeth and Blood
  • Marisa Davila
  • Alan Maxson
  • Nick Gomez
  • Peyton McDavitt
  • Chandler Rylko
  • Brock Brenner
  • Dane Johnson
  • Paul Lauden

Release:

The Rake was released by Brain Damage Films on DVD via and most VOD platforms on March 7, 2017.

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