Surprisingly, it is the always h***y, obnoxious, dude-bro frat boy that emerges as the most well-rounded. Reese will do anything for his friend, including uprooting his entire life all because Eric seemed excited by something for the first time in forever. It is a great angle and leads to the only truly effective scene near the end of the film. Eric convinces Reese that they need to go back for Chloe all because Eric states that he can feel that she is still alive. However, moments like that do not obscure the fact that he is annoying and juvenile.
Apparently, the film’s screenplay, which is based on the story Befall by Diane Dasilva, was being rewritten continuously throughout production. Quite frankly, it shows. The first half is populated with characters who never come back up or don’t actually contribute to the story. Eric is venturing to town for this thing or that and stops to help Sheryl (Eileen Dietz) carry jugs to her house. They have a pleasant little conversation, but absolutely nothing is learned that is not repeated, sometimes more in-depth, at later points. Plus, this character pretty much vanishes after that, leaving this small scene incredibly pointless. A Wakefield Project is filled with moments like that.
“…a cumbersome, awkward thing to say and watch.”
But even more frustrating is the rules of how the solar flares are bringing the dead back. I don’t need this kind of film to be scientifically accurate, but consistency and some form of logic being applied are necessary. Some townspeople become frozen during the strange occurrences emitting from the sun, but Chloe, Eric, and Reese are free to always run about. Why didn’t the freeze? I don’t know. While Nathan is not the only undead being brought back to life, all of them seem to be exclusively after the protagonists and no one else. This makes the movie, despite all of its efforts to familiarize the audience with the towns and its populous early on, seem very small.
The acting is pedestrian as well. Andres is at least given moments to show character growth, so he probably comes across the best, but when he’s just talking dirty to random people, it feels forced. Seim is fine if a bit dull as the medium Chloe. Bewlz is so generic and bland as Eric that he feels like he is part of the set dressing. As the murderous, rage-driven Nathan, Rob Archer is big and intimidating, but his line readings are very stilted.
There is nothing in A Wakefield Project, that means it is poorly assembled or badly directed. But the plotholes and lose character threads, coupled with the absolutely mediocre everything else, means that is nothing to grasp onto here. Is it terrible? No, but that does not make it enjoyable.
"…don’t need this kind of film to be scientifically accurate"