I’m sure you’ve noticed that I am usually a little more lenient to the more independent and low budget Found Footage horror films.
Well I’m afraid this is not always the case! When I come across typical film plots that offer me nothing really unique I cannot help but feel a little unimpressed!
Now before we venture any further I must point out that The Rake is a Found Footage film that had a zero budget and only lasted for just over forty minutes.
Therefore my review may be a little harsh at times but the makers should be commended on getting out there and having a go!
And so we Begin…..
So we’re stuck with one of the more typical film plots in the found footage genre – not really a problem if you manage to pull it off!
We start off with three friends and a camcorder in a car speeding down a highway (not the most original of beginnings but hey – I’m used to that!)
The camera quality was quite good – not brilliant but good enough to let me relax and watch the film.
The three friends at once seemed a little awkward to me – the main character in particular who was filming events seemed to struggle when engaging in conversation.
This was nothing more than strained amateur acting so I shouldn’t really ‘put the boot in’ on this point!
As with typical film plots in this genre we find out they are going to a forest to spend some time away…..but they are not taking along any real technology (Nooooooo!).
This of course means they are travelling into a dark forest, with no mobile phones and a camcorder (alarm bells would be ringing in my head!).
The Ability to Monetize!
Now, I know a lot of these first time producers who come out with these typical plots are looking to make a little money to subsidize their next film. This is fine – I have NO problem with this and I understand it completely.
What really gets my goat is when they pump over four FULL LENGTH adverts into the main body of the film and completely ruin the atmosphere and the feel of the movie.
It was sort of like an intermission every time!
In the first instance the advert actually cut off a conversation that went something like this: “Didn’t you say your dad hired a paranormal investigator…..”.
Now I’m no Steven Spielberg but I’m pretty sure that this is a dumb ass place to put your first advert guys? When the film finally clicks back on the friend had nearly finished his sentence and we don’t really get the answer!
His Grandpa Seemed to Know a Lot……Why Didn’t They Discuss This Before They Set Out?
With most of the typical film plots involved in Found Footage movies you can forgive their lack of originality due to good atmosphere being introduced to the screen.
Now this film did have some decent atmosphere in places and that should be highlighted…..it just kept on throwing up quite stupid plot twists.
All the way through the movie this guy kept on mentioning all these supernatural things his grandpa used to experience in these woods (none of which were very healthy!).
Why oh why would you go into the woods with no phone after hearing these stories? Why didn’t you mention this to the other two hapless friends before you invited them?
A Nice Blank Spot The Film Actually Picked up!
All of a sudden the boys go to sleep in their tent and I’m confronted with a long twenty second blank spot in the middle of the film.
I get up, check my HDMI cable, check YouTube – nope, it’s actually part of the film (for some unknown reason!).
After this incredibly amateur point in the film the acting actually got a little better. As with most typical movie plots in this genre one of the friends goes missing in the night and the others start to panic. From here on in the acting does improve (credit where credit’s due!).
These typical film ideas are hard to pull off unless you introduce something a little original. The lead character did at times seem to be making it up as he went along!
The story did get a little deeper with the introduction of a spooky journal and the actual effects on the Rake were very good!
Typical plot lines often end up with too many holes in them and I’m afraid this was no different.
If you like Found Footage horror then definitely give this a try – I’m not saying it should be avoided on any level! You may find more in it than I did and the creators certainly deserve as many views as they can get on the film.