At First Glance: “The Raking”

Indie films of all sorts can turn out to be hidden gems. While you may not expect a whole lot, you may discover that this very obscure indie film reminds you of so much that you’ve been missing. It’s from this simple task, that perhaps the watching and experience may be well worth it.

The upcoming Lesson 1 Entertainment film “The Raking” looks like a fun creature feature that may be the perfect kind of distraction from all the other terrible horror films out there.

This film stars Bryan Brewer (“Angel of Death (Short 2014)”, “Infection: The Invasion Begins”), Cree Kelly (“Captain Blackout”, “The Runner”), Allie Rivera (upcoming “Christmas with Cookie”, “The Goldenboy”), Thatcher Robinson (upcoming “Wolf Mother”, “Superior”), Marshal Hilton (upcoming “The Perfect Weapon”, “EP/Executive Protection”), Marisa Davila (“Liv and Maddie”, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), and Alan Maxson (upcoming films “Christmas with Cookie”, “Alien Shadows”).

The film is directed by Brewer and written by Brewer (“Infection: The Invasion Begins”, “The Healer’s Son”) and Laura Heine.

The film is expected (more likely) to come out later this year.

My love of random indie films clearly knows no bounds. I can’t even tell you how I discovered this film, but I did. I think it was through Twitter, which itself sounds strange to admit. In case you didn’t know, which is a strong possibility, I love creature features! I’m not sure what it is that gets me so excited, but when I start obsessing over one, or merely get excited for it, I can’t stop! It’s all I can think about. I’m also not even sure what film exactly got me so interested in this genre of film. I know it wasn’t “Jaws” unlike so many other people. Whatever film it was, probably “Anaconda”, I’m so thankful for it. I’d be missing out on a whole lot of fun films, all to varying degrees of terribleness.

Just from this teaser, I must say, I’m excited for most of it. There’s only one thing that really bugs me the most, but I’m not informed enough on it to understand the why. The way the final film looks is strange. As is my trying to describe it. Basically it doesn’t look like what you’d traditionally see from other films. I’ve seen other films like this, and it’s always weird, but again, this is an area I don’t understand. I may be able to get past it, but we’ll see. I doubt it’ll be enough to make me dislike the finished film or the awesome creature violence!

Speaking of! Creature violence!! Blood, gore!! Mayhem!!

This film seems like it’s going to have it, and those are all things I love from creature features!! For me, the story doesn’t have to make a lick of sense, but if you can entertain me, and somewhat scare me with these elements then you’ve achieved something amazing! The next thing that will make me love the film, which I’m already liking, is the creature design. It looks good, and I did additional reading, just because, and discovered this is practical creature effects. In fact, someone from the SyFy series “Face Off” actually designed the creature known as The Rake. Pretty awesome! Something else I noticed, and maybe it’s just for comparisons sake, but the creature really reminded me of Pumpkinhead. I love the “Pumpkinhead” films, even though not all of the stories are that great, but he just scares me somehow. The first two films especially are my favorites! It’s this reason, the design, and the practicality that has me wanting to see this film as soon as possible!

The next thing embodies the practical creature effects. It’s the approach to making this film that makes it worth checking out. What Brewer and company are doing is utilizing a method of filmmaking that has all but been abandoned. The last time, other than on other micro-budget films, that this technique was largely used was on the 2013 film “Evil Dead”. That film was great too! For me, I get an added incentive. I not only get a film where everything is quite tangible, but I get to see how another person brings back an old style of moviemaking. How will Brewer showcase what he’s learned and loves, to fans that also love this approach?

While I don’t think there’s going to be much new offered in this film, or for this genre, that’s okay. I see this film being fun and an absolute blast! I find that this film has the potential to inform a specific audience of the talents of Brewer. Some times, even for bigger budgeted films, but those that are still indie’s, what counts the most isn’t whether or not a filmmaker’s done something unseen before. No, all they have to do is show that they’re capable of taking what has been seen a lot, and put a refreshing and exciting new spin on it! Not simply to just distract audiences, but to allow them to see that the story is in fact a scary one, and one that was worth their time.

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