‘It will infect us all.’
The Rake is a 2018 American horror film directed by Tony Wash from a screenplay co-written with Jeremy Silva, based on the creepypasta urban myth. The Red Band Films production stars Shenae Grimes-Beech, Izabella Miko and Rachel Melvin.
Twenty years after the brutal murder of their parents by Jacob Murphy (Joe Mullen), two estranged siblings are reunited at a housewarming party. Ben (Stephen Brodie) has found a hard-won sense of normalcy over the years, while his younger sister, Ashley (Shanae Grimes-Beech), has spent most of her adult life under psychiatric care.
When a surprise announcement reels Ashley into an emotional spiral, she is convinced that something inside her has awoken – something that’s been dormant since childhood. Forced to revisit their nightmarish past, Ben must separate logic from legend and uncover whether the horrors are of Ashley’s mind, or that of a real evil that threatens to infect us all…
“The Rake is a movie that inadvertently causes many belly laughs, has an enormous amount of horrific tension, and an amazing crew who had worked behind the scenes. A movie that is an almost nostalgic throwback to the early, fun-filled times of cheesey cinema of the ’80s…” 3 out of 5, Cryptic Rock
“Gore gets suitably gruesome when The Rake finally shows up, although outside of occasional visions, its full-bodied appearance doesn’t arrive until about twenty minutes remain in the runtime. The hour building up to this underwhelming moment occupies itself with inconsequential chatter between characters fighting desperately to connect disjointed background bits into some semblance of a storyline.” Culture Crypt
“Despite the tense opening scene, the relatively short movie feels like it’s crawling for the next act or two. Only running about 78 minutes, the incoherent family tension and messy characterizations bog down its needed suspense. A bunch of disturbing visions by Ashley don’t really break up the monotony. By the time the scares pick up and the creature returns, you’ve lost most sympathy for the nominal protagonist, Ashley.” DoBlu.com
“We spend most of this film in the dark at night, so at some point, our jump-scare defense system lowers its guard […] Some characters come with baggage, hence the tragic opening, and it eventually weighs on us. There’s probably too much drama. There are good ideas thrown in the mix, but nothing you’ll remember a month later.” Tales of Terror
” …a nice looking but empty DTV shocker. There’s plenty of atmospheric cinematography, well-done practical gore effects and cool setups. But when what was supposed to be a wince-inducing scene of self-harm had no effect on me the disconnect becomes obvious. The characters are so poorly developed and/or unlikable that I really didn’t care what happened to them.” Voices from the Balcony
The Rake was spawned in October of 2014 when FX artist Jason Kain and director Tony Wash were discussing frustrations over another project losing its steam. “Jason pretty much said ‘Screw it, why don’t we make a movie about The Rake?’ He showed me a brief synopsis from Creepypasta about the Rake mythos and I’ve always been a fan of creature features so it was pretty easy to convince me.”
Shortly after, Robert Patrick Stern, Sarah Sharp, Jim Petersen and Angela Verdino became involved as producers and the team quickly began orchestrating the development of The Rake. Wash brought on co-writer Jeremy Silva to help pen the script and the duo had a shooting script ready in less than three months.
By March 2015, a location had been secured along with a majority of financing and casting had begun. After a nineteen-day shoot ended in April and three subsequent pickup days in December, The Rake was in the can and being shipped to LA for the edit, helmed by Sam Bauer (Donnie Darko).
Over the next two years, the LA team put the movie through post-production and secured distribution through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “It’s been an interesting process, to say the least.” said Wash of the experience. “I’m accustomed to indie filmmaking where the director is the captain of the ship from inception to completion. The ‘Hollywood Process’ is a substantially different approach that I was unfamiliar with, but I’m damn proud of what our team created on set, hope our post team in LA built upon that foundation, and am excited for audiences to see that talent and diligence shine through in the final product.”
The Rake was released on DVD and digital VOD on June 5, 2018, via Unified Pictures and Sony. Buy via Amazon.com
Available to watch free on YouTube via the Horror Central Channel although we suspect it may be cut as the running time is slightly shorter.
Cast and characters:
Shenae Grimes-Beech … Ashley – Scream 4
Izabella Miko … Cassie
Rachel Melvin … Nicole – Sleepy Hollow
Joe Nunez … Jeremy
Joe Cipriano … Young Ben
Joey Bicicchi … Andrew
Stephen Brodie … Ben – Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Alexa Nasatir … Young Ashley
Joe Mullen … Jacob Murphy
1 hour 19 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1