Wednesday 24 April 2024

Witch (2024)

The latest horror release from 101 International is WITCH, a film that shares its title with at least three other recent films (Robert Eggers' THE WITCH and two films from Korea). You would think those involved would have picked something else to avoid confusion, but then perhaps that's the point.

This WITCH is British in origin and is set in 1575. But it's less an accurate 1575 and more a Harry Alan Towers late 1960s BLOODY JUDGE-type period setting, where everyone looks improbably modern and the Hungarian locations, while adding a lot of production value, aren't especially period accurate (or any kind of accurate) either. The 'local tavern' looks more like a large town hall and our blacksmith hero lives in the kind of roomy dwelling that would have been more suited to the local magistrate.

But those aren't the only problems with WITCH. Never mind that the lead female character's name is Twyla, never mind that the boom mike swings into view with gay abandon three times in rapid succession about 25 minutes in, never mind that we are shown the ending of the film at the beginning and then have to endure a long, slow 100+ minute slog to get back there. No, the main problem with WITCH is that the story is essentially simple but is presented in such a horribly convoluted way that it becomes increasingly difficult to work out what's going on. A length info dump in the middle of the film only serves to muddy the waters further. Again, perhaps all this is deliberate, in this case to distract you from the fact that the film doesn't actually have a witch in it at all. 

On the plus side there are some decent special effects and the music's not bad. On the bizarre side, if you watch the film through the end credits a scene pops up set in the present day with characters and actors we've never seen before (at least I didn't think so) and featuring what looks like a different book from the one that's been so important (I think) to the plot so far. So incongruous and odd is this sequence that for a moment I wondered if it had been edited in from another film by mistake. Perhaps it had. I haven't said too much about the actual plot because for a change I'm going to let the trailer do that for me. Here it is:

WITCH is out on digital from 101 International on 29th April 2024

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