Title: Black Wake

Also known as:

Year: 2018

Genre: Sci-fi / Horror

Language: English

Runtime: 91 min

Director: Jeremiah Kipp

Writer: Jerry Janda, Carlos Keyes, Jeremiah Kipp

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4839118/

Specialists are investigating bodies found by the Atlantic Ocean. Something is turning people into zombies, and it seems connected with a mystery from a long time ago...

Our thoughts:
It's always exciting when filmmakers you primarily know from short films dive into feature films. It's an entirely different world of storytelling, where a short film can revolve around a simple idea - or a concept, even - and still work as a whole. Jeremiah Kipp has made features before, but none that I have seen. "Blake Wake" is a sci-fi horror feature directed by Kipp, co-written by himself, Jerry Janda and Carlos Keyes.

I have to admit that my negativity towards "Black Wake" is not just based on the movie itself. My appreciation of Jeremiah Kipp's short films heightened my expectations, and it simply does not live up to his usual style and depth.

"Black Wake" takes place many years after the disappearance of a young boy. After some bizarre incidents where several people have been found dead near the ocean, specialists begin to investigate the situation. They discover something much grander than they ever imagined. The movie slowly transcends from your average zombie/parasite horror and into something almost Lovecraftian.

It's not unusual for filmmakers to attempt to convey the atmosphere of H.P. Lovecraft. While it is clear that this has taken some ideas from his books, I do believe that they have done their own thing with it. And the story is, frankly, the thing the movie succeeds with. Especially what the story evolves into and the scale of the finale. It's more ambitious in scope than your typical modern low-budget horror. Unfortunately it ends right when it got interesting, where prior it was mainly slow and repetitive.

The production itself is rather... rough. It didn't shine in many areas. From cheesy mockumentary-styled sequences, to schlocky acting, it borders on early 00's SyFy Channel quality (or Sci Fi Channel, as it was called then). Despite an interesting cast there were no convincing performances, the effects are subpar at best, and the overall look of the film and the cinematography simply isn't pleasant to look at.

Overall, "Black Wake" is not trash, but it struggles to keep up with its own scale. When it wants to depict a large breakout involving news reports, the military, hordes of parasitic zombies and a huge finale, it just ends up flat and unbelievable. If you know what you are getting into here you might enjoy yourself, but frankly I stuggle to recommend it.

Positive things:
- Interesting finale.
- A good take on something Lovecraftian.
- Fairly entertaining.

Negative things:
- Feels and looks cheap.
- Repetitive.
- Doesn't manage to bring its intended scale to life.
- Mostly poor performances.

Gore: 2.5/5
Nudity: 2.5/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 1/5

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