Cast/Crew: Directed by Peter Winther, featuring Devon Werkheiser, Justin Deeley and Nicole Forester.
Plot: Scary folklore in the small town of Summerset becomes the talking point after a child is snatched from her bed. As the tale goes, there’s a (wicked) witch that lives in the woods. If you smash a window of her cabin, she’ll hunt you down to abduct/kill you, especially if you’re a young child, which maintains her lifeforce. Teenage douchebags head to the woods to see if it’s true.
Thoughts on the film:
• The most obvious problem is DON’T SHOW THE WITCH! She looks incredibly hokey. It’s plainly some cheap prosthetics and is wildly unimpressive! I know the CG smoke must be expensive but it’s a hard sell seeing the state of the supposedly scary witch. As soon as you see her hand and she looks to be dressed like a drunken hobo, it kills the film, it’s so hard to take it seriously.
• The characters are mostly unlikeable (most prominently there’s a stereotypical college guy and his bland/quieter/more sensitive teen brother, and a bratty teen girl who wants to make prank calls, breaks people’s things and doesn’t bother to show up for her friends’ grandfather’s funeral)
• There’s no nudity to distract you from the flaws.
• Characters go from ‘I’m scared I can’t move’ to ‘I’ve got a plan let’s go’ and ‘i’m terrified’ to a calm ‘sure no problem’ a bit too fast.
• Sets, set dressing, props etc are all bog standard so (like the brown cob-webs) look pretty hokey.
• But what was good about the film? There’s a lots of different people, and only one witch, who doesn’t kill people straight away (she has a ritual) so there’s a continual merry-go-round of the status of the teens – who gets caught, who gets free and so frees others & tries to escape, others get caught/dies, who gets freed etc and that really does keep the storyline ticking over.
• The opening bits with the typical blurry spectre, the kids smashing the window (invoking the witch – who was minding her own business by the way!) and seeing shadows in the window were pretty cool. The “oh shit it’s real!” aspect was good fun.
• I always find the gimmick of folklore interesting, and that it’s true, and deal with it right now! Imagine if the Blair Witch Project was just the opening half hour of a horror film, and they tried to escape! That’s pretty interesting, right? Right?
Overall: There’s nothing particularly redeeming about the film, it’s a big shame about how cheap the witch is – it really breaks suspension of disbelief. It’s just some clumsy woman in a costume! The characters aren’t particularly likeable and I can’t recommend the film, but…I found it an easy watch. The will they/won’t they escape cycle was fun.