The Movie Waffler New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - WICKED WITCHES | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - WICKED WITCHES

wicked witches review
Following the collapse of his marriage, a man returns to his hometown, now in the grip of a group of mysterious women.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Martin J Pickering

Starring: Duncan Casey, Justin Marosa, Kitt Proudfoot, Samantha Schnitzler, Jasmin Clark

wicked witches poster

Opening with a man, Mark (Duncan Casey, good), dramatically disposing of his wedding ring, you can tell this is going to be an angst-filled story.

Driving away from the discarded jewellery, he heads into town. It’s a quaint little village and sitting in the car park he has a daydream of a seductive woman offering him drugs; but whether this is a fantasy or a flashback is not yet clear.

He opens the local newspaper to search the personals. An advertisement looking for a person to share-house catches his eye; "must be musically minded" it says, and "happy to put up with a lot of noise."

It’s his old friend Ian (an unconvincing Justin Marosa) who’s behind the advertising. and so Mark is a shoo-in for the place.

wicked witches review
Though no directions are given, Mark heads out to the fields where the remote farmhouse is located; I guess Ian is still in the same home he has always been?

Ominously, upon arrival Mark sees Ian in the middle of the woods chanting to himself while digging a hole; yeah, that sounds like an ideal housemate!

Once Ian can tear himself away from his ministrations, he shows his friend the room. Mark explains he’s just "split from the wife" and could do with some partying; Ian’s house was always good for a party.

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Later, while Ian stokes a fire, Mark complains it’s the middle of summer. "I’m always cold," offers Ian.

A drunken Mark tries to access a locked room adorned with a portrait of a devilish god but Ian stops him with "it’s private," accompanied by his death-stare.

wicked witches review
The next day, after a well-executed daylight nightmare, Mark is up with the birds and heading into town for supplies. A friend calls and in between taking hits of coke in his car he tells Mark he will be up the following weekend, and he’s bringing "the boys" and "Mandy" (MDMA).

Meanwhile throughout that week, Mark’s nightmares grow more bloody as Ian grows more strange... and when three mysterious women decide to join the end-of-week blowout, they have some gore-filled desires to satisfy.

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This, the first feature film written and directed by Martin J Pickering, is a mixed bag. The story itself feels stretched beyond its limits, filler punctuated with gore that doesn’t build to a climax but instead feels episodic with an extra dose of bloody bedlam at the end.

The titular witches and the gory mayhem they unleash is the strongest scene in this one-note overextended film, despite the occasionally clunky effect.

wicked witches review
Having said that, a lot of the effects work well and some even impress (a severed head convinces) but this really needed a stronger storyline, better characterisations and more atmosphere to really work. There are some nice tracking shots across windswept fields but some of the artistic choices are a little confusing and can work against the relatability of the storyline.

This is a miss, but the stuff that it does well is encouraging. Pickering has the right artistic eye and many of his decisions are on the money. With a stronger script, his next outing should be more memorable, perhaps without the 'evil women' subtext that permeates this one.

Wicked Witches is on DVD/VOD now.

2019 movie reviews