The Razing is a 2022 American mystery horror drama about a group of estranged friends who gather for a night of tradition. Unfortunately, the evening takes a deadly turn after old secrets and wounds resurface.
Produced and directed by J. Arcane and Paul Erskine (Crucify) from a screenplay written by Arcane.
The Pacific Future Films production stars Jack Wooton, Logan Paul Price, Mia Heavner and Carson Marquette.
“The Razing is a slow-burning horror film that struggles to take off at the beginning but gradually begins to improve throughout. Sadly, this comes too late to make the film anything spectacular, but it’s still a decent watch for fans of unhurried horror films mixed with mystery and claustrophobic conflicts.
The Razing is not a typical horror film. It opens with distorted visuals and sounds, as though we’re seeing things through the eyes of someone who’s tripping. And given later events that might well be the case.
Beyond that, directors and frequent collaborators Paul Erskine and J. Arcane, who also wrote The Razing, have a fondness for odd camera angles, deliberately shifting scenes in and out of focus and even using split-screen. Combined with a classical-sounding score it gives the film a very pronounced artsy feel.
While the film takes place almost entirely in one apartment, and much of that in one room of it, the title, The Razing, refers to something happening beyond its walls. Something tatt as in The Crazies or The Sadness is causing people to brutally kill each other for no apparent reason. But our characters are more concerned with their own issues and some pact they made when they were younger, the nature of which is gradually revealed via dialogue and flashbacks as the film goes on.
Of course, as in any film like this, they can’t keep the problem shut out, and eventually The Razing finds its way into their sanctuary. But that’s nearly an hour into the film’s hundred and ten minute runtime and my patience was about at an end. I don’t mind a slow burn but this is so slow at times I wondered if the fuse had even been lit. Combined with the film’s extremely unlikable characters it made for very rough going.
The Razing is elevated horror for people who think Hereditary and Midsommar are exploitation films. It’s heavy on philosophical dialogue, the ramifications of our actions, and many other weighty topics. Scares however are much harder to come by, as is any real concern if the characters, with the exception of Clare, live or die.
I know there is an audience for films like The Razing but I’m not it. I like my horror to have scares and at least a couple of decent characters. Between the obnoxious, shouty characters and the distorted sound and visuals, the effect was more like dropping acid at a bad party than watching a horror movie. But then again, this whole thing might have been one of the character’s bad trips, either way, it’s a bummer man.