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House of the Witch

This House Belongs to Her
House of the Witch
A group of high-school kids set out to play a Halloween prank at an abandoned house, but once they enter they become victims of a demonic witch who has set her wrath upon them.

Reviews

Wuchak
This is one wicked frickin' witch (with a mind-blowingly artistic close) RELEASED TO TV IN 2017 and directed by Alex Merkin, "House of the Witch" (aka "The Wiccan") chronicles events in small town Kentucky when high school teens set out to play a Halloween prank at the local "haunted" dilapidated mansion, but things go awry when the kids find themselves trapped inside in a life-or-death situation. Despite the TV-budget and no-name cast, this is a competent, austere haunted house flick with, believe it or not, moments of nigh greatness. The basic plot has been around forever, as illustrated in those cheap 50's horror comics. Unlike the low-key (and thoroughly overrated) "The Blair Witch Project" (1999), the ghostly witch is blatantly shown on several occasions and she's quite formidable (although the cartoony smoke effects of her traveling thru the house are rather lame). Her seemingly malevolent motivations aren't revealed until the climax. The film scores well on the female front, beginning with cat-eared Grace Balbo in the prologue, followed by Emily Bader as the main protagonist. Michelle Randolph is also on hand. I would have given this a solid grade even though it's "just another haunted house flick," but the superb climax compels me to up my grade. The final 10 minutes show artistic ingenuity with the hauntingly beautiful cinematography and the story revelations, along with the affecting score (reminiscent of Unkle's poignant "When things explode" with Ian Astbury). It's comparable to the moving close of 2009's underrated "Wind Chill," although they're decidedly different in theme. Forget haunted house junk like 2007's "Return to House on Haunted Hill," "House of the Witch" is the real deal in ghostly mansion films. It shows how a quality little horror flick can be made on a low-budget. THE MOVIE RUNS about 89 minutes was shot in Lexington, Kentucky, mostly at Meadowcrest Mansion. WRITER: Neil Elman. GRADE: B+/A-

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