in

Review: L.A. Lopes’ “A Wakefield Project”

Every town in America has a piece of bizarre history if you dig deep enough. In the city of Wakefield, that footnote is the grizzly mass murder at the hands of Nathan Cross, a motel owner who recorded himself butchering women before being put down. Years later, two friends – Eric and Reese – purchase the property with a long forgotten secret and begin renovations, hoping to turn it into the business of their dreams. However, a visit by a psychic medium and unprecedented solar flares set off a chain of events that find Nathan Cross stalking the halls and streets of Wakefield once again. He’s joined by previous victims and a plethora of other ghoul, and Eric, Reese and Chloe are forced to face the monster if they hope to survive until dawn. A major collaboration between Six Feet Under Films, Toto Films and Ladywood Productions, A Wakefield Project stars Anthony Bewlz (Tooth Fairy), Dennis Andres (Workin Moms), Lindsay Seim (Insidious: Chapter 2), Rob Archer (Lost Girl), Dan Yeager, Pedro Miguel Arce and Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist). Find it on DVD and Digital March 3rd 2020 courtesy of High Octane Pictures.

A Wakefield Project is directed by L.A. Lopes, based on the story by Diane Dasilva which was adapted to script by Lindsay Seim. It features cinematography and editing by Jay Guerriere. Diane Dasilva produced. A Wakefield Project has that darker, grittier look to its picture quality that I absolutely love when showcased correctly in independent films. The look and style of the film matches the story content and mood in a cohesive and accurate way. I’m using the term independent film solely because A Wakefield Project wasn’t backed by any major studio. You’d never know that, though, because it’s production value is stellar and remarkable. Perfect audio, realistic special effects, and shocking plot twist after plot twist that helped this title become a worthy addition to your DVD shelves. The only problem is – it’s a very “talky” experience. Nothing really happens until the 40 minute mark. While I applaud character development and fleshing out your characters, settings and precursors to the madness, being that this is a supernatural horror film, I wanted a little more action in the first half.

Luckily, that problem is remedied by the incredibly talented cast who had chemistry on camera and easily worked bits of comedy and drama into their performances while simultaneously running for the lives. Let me not forget to mention that they’re all incredibly attractive, too. Dennis Andres, Rob Archer and Anthony Bewlz could have recited the phone book for the entire movie and I still would have watched. See, when all else fails, cast attractive people who have the acting chops to back it up! And what made this even better was Bewlz and Andrews’ friendship on screen, which was modern and brotastic without making me want to hang myself. Seriously, though, A Wakefield Project has a lot going for it if you know where to look. A psychic with previous trauma. A murder motel with dozens of rooms to hide in. Video tapes depicting frightening torture. A supernatural villain who appears unstoppable. Suspense. That small town charm that’s doused in blood. I wasn’t expecting much from this title, having only asked to review it because of the motel and the buff man on the cover, but A Wakefield Project destroyed my expectations in a positive way.

A cautionary tale that history finds a way to repeat itself one way or another, and a prime example that friendship and light don’t always concur evil, A Wakefield Project is one of the better slasher type films to come out this year. Highly recommended. Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)