The Wake will make it hard for you to stay awake.
It’s a low budget movie, and that’s not the problem; there are plenty of movies out there that are engaging and well-written and well acted. The Wake struggles, however, because not only is the story ridden with plotholes, but it has trouble identifying itself as a horror movie.
It is both intentionally and unintentionally funny.
The movie starts with a really badly acted scene of a woman climbing up the steps of what we are to assume the cellar. Then she sobs and screams. I almost turned it off when I saw how bad the scene and acting was, nevertheless, I was a little intrigued by the summary and gave it another chance.
The next scene shows a group of five friends arriving at a villa. Apparently, we are taken back to the start of the day when the woman from the first scene is accompanied by her friends to attend a wake. And now guess what? They are attending a wake of a little boy one of the guys killed in a drunk driving accident.
Yup, that’s how ridiculous the story gets when the mother welcomes them all with a smile and champagne. It’s hard to imagine that these characters didn’t get it right away that they were being set up. Nope, it seemed perfectly normal for them that the mother of the kid that they killed accidentally, had invited them to her home.
If there was ever a movie about how to behave inappropriately at a wake, this was it. One couple kisses and makes sexual innuendos, the other couple has an impromptu engagement. Yes, perfectly normal and unfortunately absolutely unnecessary.
There are other guests roaming about and a daughter who is grieving for her brother, but blink and you’ll miss all this. The story takes a sharp turn and one of the women faints and wakes up to find herself tied up. She manages to free herself only to find her two other friends tied up.
Cut to the chases, the mother pretends to be a captive too, but in fact, she has concocted this whole plan to get revenge from the five friends.
Except, why not kill them all instead of spiking their drinks? Why not add poison instead? Why not kill them all at once when she had a chance?
The answer the mother gives is ludicrous- because she wanted the guy who killed her son to suffer. He had to see all his friends die and know what it felt like to lose someone. Except...one of the friends was cut open off-screen. We are to assume her death would not have an impact on the friends. How sad for her.
The ending becomes even more bizarre as cults and demonic possessions are inserted into an already wobbly plot. Turns out the mother has kept her son in the cellar, cut a star into his chest and starts reading an incantation to bring her son back to life. The friends, some of them dead, are chained up to the wall. Perhaps they were at risk to wake up as well? Zombies? It made no sense why their corpses were chained up.
The couple who had celebrated their engagement a few hours ago are the only survivors. The girl frees herself with a hairpin that she had even when he hair was left loose. She is skilled enough to pick the lock and then tries to help her boyfriend, but he asks her to leave when the son wakes up with black eyes and starts murdering everyone.
The girl escapes and we are reminded of the first scene where she is hysterically sobbing. Again you are reminded of how terrible the acting is and how her first instinct still wasn’t to run and call for help. Her boyfriend scrambles up the stairs and she doesn’t bother to ask him how he made his escape and if they were supposed to worry about the demonic boy on the loose. Nope. She pulls him up and turns away from her fiance conveniently so he has the perfect opportunity to snap her neck.
Yes, he is possessed.
Too bad the demon didn’t like staying in the little boy’s body. He must have liked a grown man’s one.
None of this makes any sense, and the only reason I don’t entirely regret watching it because sometimes it is a little fun watching something so absurd. There are poorly written jokes, ham acting, half-baked plot and terrible piano music in the background. It literally has all the elements of a bad film even though it did have the opportunity to be better. The friends should have been shown to ask the mother for forgiveness, perhaps arrive uninvited to the wake so that as a viewer we wouldn’t be suspicious of the mother’s intentions because maybe she had been keeping an eye on them.
The friends could have been on their guard and felt guilty rather than behaving idiotically at a wake. There were plenty of ways this movie could have been an enjoyable watch rather than one you watch because you want to watch a terribly made film.
For serious horror movie buffs, avoid this.