Premiering on DVD and VOD on March 3rd 2020 from High Octane Pictures, A Wakefield Project is a sci-fi horror from L.A. Lopes who directed and wrote it alongside, Lindsay Seim.
A confusing film, it never seems to quite be able stick to one idea and deliver on that satisfyingly. We have everything from solar flares affecting a town with a sinister past to paranormal events to zombies. It’s like a toddler who found a couple of bags of sugar and decided to eat it all, hyperactive to the point of annoyance.
It stars Anthony Bewlz as Eric and Dennis Andres as Reese, a pair of young men who have sunk their money into an abandoned motel in the small town of Wakefield. Their plan is to renovate it, make a profit and in the case of Reese, hopefully get laid while they’re at it.
Enter Lindsey Seim’s Chloe who is a psychic come to tell Eric and Reese all about the motel’s past.
A past that is very bloody indeed as Nathan Cross (Rob Archer) used the motel as his base of operations to murder numerous women. He was caught when one of his would-be victims manged to escape and the murderer was executed.
All of that would be fine for a paranormal tale but A Wakefield Project isn’t done. You see, massive solar flares are occurring meaning communications are cut off and somehow, they lift the veil between the living and the dead. While the solar phenomena is occurring the dead can see the living and vice versa and one in particular wants to continue where he left off.
Throw in other spirits that like to possess and turn their victims into mindless and violent zombies. Lots of backstory, home videos about the killer Cross and pointless plot points such as Eric’s dead father and what we have is a plot that is haphazardly told.
While the idea about solar flares is a nice and different, it still amounts to the same ghostly goings on that we’ve seen time and time again. Unfortunately, when we get down to it, A Wakefield Project just isn’t doing anything fresh at all.
The hope that the cast might be able to keep things focused is lost once the realisation hits that Anthony Bewlz really isn’t turning in his best work here. His character, Eric is the blandest of the bland. Made all the worse as Dennis Andres is actually quite charming and fun to watch. Reese’s horn-dog frat-boy behaviour isn’t as annoying as you might think and he stands out.
The other major cast member is Lindsey Seim as Chloe and she falls squarely in the middle. A perfectly fine performance with a character that has ‘love interest’ written all over her the moment she appears.
When A Wakefield Project finally settles down and enters its more straight-forward paranormal horror end stages, it’s let down by darkness. So much of the end sequences are filmed in darkness that it feels like we’re entering found footage territories. This does allow for some jump scares moments but they feel cheap.
Messy. A Wakefield Project is just too messy to really enjoy.
A Wakefield Project
The Final Score - 5/10