• Charlie Vogelsang

The Razing (2022) Review


A planned gathering between a group of estranged friends turns deadly after secrets are revealed and old wounds are reopened in The Razing.


As the third film by directing duo J. Arcane and Paul Erskine (Arcane & Erskine), The Razing follows a group of estranged friends who gather for a night of tradition. Yet when they reunite, it’s very apparent that these are not people who want to be together - and should definitely stay away from each other.


Every single character in the friend group is, to put it lightly, weighed down by their own baggage. The only decent human being in this film is Claire (played by Mia Heavner), who is brought along to the event as a guest and sadly gets caught up in the worst dinner party of all time.

From the hour mark, the film really shines, and is brilliant at times

Throughout the night, each of the characters' pasts is brought up and all of their previous sins are revealed. It’s clear that these people were friends as teenagers, but were only connected by drugs. In flashbacks, the characters are more redeemable and human - but as adults they are just painful to watch.


One of the most frustrating things about The Razing is that there are elements that are terrific to watch, and others that are overwhelming in the worst possible way. For example, the music in the film is overbearing - almost comically so at times. There are moments where silence would’ve definitely been better to build up suspense, allowing the audience’s imagination to create the fear.

There are also needless edits that are completely disorientating, such as the screen splitting to showcase two concurrent scenes, or quick jump cuts that feel out of place. Thankfully, these stop close to the hour mark and the film gradually gets steadier and more enjoyable as time progresses.


From the hour mark, the film really shines, and is brilliant at times. That’s the thing about The Razing - the last third gets you on the edge of your seat, but the rest of the film lets it down. If the build up had been better, then this could’ve been something memorable.

This isn't anything spectacular, but it’s still a decent watch for fans of unhurried horror films

In the same way that the directors seem to get a handle on things late on, he the actors' peformances start to feel more natural - and less like a scene from The Room. At the end of the movie, there are so many twists and turns that literally come out of nowhere, but it does add to the excitement.

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. Arcane & Erskine definitely have the makings for a great directing duo, and hopefully their next movie will be their masterpiece.


6/10