19 Jan 2014

'Raze' Review

"To Be a Woman, you have to be Devious in this World..."

Director: Josh C. Waller
Writer: Robert Beaucage, Kenny Gage
Stars: Zoe Bell, Rachel Nichols, Tracie Thoms
Running Time: 87 mins
Sub-Genre: Action, Thriller
Release: 16th January 2014

Raze, a horror/action film, focuses on two abducted women & 50 other women who are forced to fight each other using their bare hands to one comes out victorious, all to save their loved ones from death.

2014 has started off in relevantly weak terms with the horror genre (Antisocial & Devil's Due in particular), but aside from The Marked Ones being remotely thrilling, it was pretty refreshing to watch a white knuckled action/horror that knew a few things about how to shock an audience. This was indeed Josh C. Waller's Raze that perhaps bit off more than it could chew, but hit a few nerves on the way down.

Packed to the brim with gut-punching action and stomach-churning gore, Raze packs a punch as it delivers a formula so laced with power that it displays a range of emotions to guide you through the visceral thrill-ride. Its combination of well-choreographed fight scenes and strong character development only heighten the emotions the film brings, and whilst you watch a liked character getting beaten to a bloody pulp, you can't help but feel some remorse for the character, which is an emotion you rarely feel for a character in horror movies today. It doesn't play out like a horror movie, but with the excessive violence and strong narrative that see's woman bare-knuckle fighting to the death, how could it not be.

Raze perhaps gets a little too tedious, and after a while the fight scenes just start to feel too similar in style, regardless of the lack of variation there really is in killing someone with your bare hands. Somehow, it plays out like You're Next in its selected sub-genre in the sense of having the strong Australian lead, but Bell does a great job in displaying a tough female character that the audience can root for from the very beginning. Through all the torment she remains human, and even though she knows her opponent will die at her hands, she still apologizes and explains the situation to the opponent before brutally killing them without any dirty tactics. It's the remorse this character has for others that adds that strong sense of emotion to the piece, and I can honestly say that it has been a long time since I felt upset by a turn of events in a film like I did with Raze; that's how powerful the experience is.

Don't get me wrong, the film is as shrouded with flaws as it is with qualities, but all that is easy to look past when the style, editing and pace is so consistent. It does get a little predictable once it reaches its final act, and the "Boss Battle" that you would expect to be as epic as the rest kind of ends without as so much as a near death experience for the character, and just when you think Bell is about to lace the crowd with some bullets, she runs like the wind and never looks back. It's all perfectly fine, but the final act is supposed to rule all, not sink to the same level as the first act.

Vicious, Ruthless and powerful; Raze may follow a tedious formula, but the great cast and dynamic action keep things from falling flat, making for one of the most aggressive and effective horror films in a while.


  1. Great review. Im glad to read that there was some emotion to the characters including Bell's performance.

    1. Thanks Jason! Yeah I mean there was a point were i got slightly emotional, and when a horror or a film as brutal as this can do that to you then that's always a great sign



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