Alex Merkin’s House Of The Witch has a great opening that hints at all sort of scary things and while it’s nothing you haven’t seen before, it’s pretty well done.
Then you see the rest of the movie, where all that promise built up with that opening is blithely discarded because it isn’t terribly good.
The events that follow are too random and seem to happen for no other reason than “witch.”
It’s not a terrible movie–it’s watchable and the performances are for the most part fine–though no one will be nominated for any Academy Awards .
Visually it’s okay too. The cinematography is fine, nothing that’s going to ignite the industry but they’re well-done.
The story is the problem, which is just half-baked. Weird things happen, people react–typically in a very contrary and odd fashion in the vein of there’s a evil thing trying to kill us! Let’s split up-type of way.
And commonsensical questions that would likely occur to someone NEVER occur to these people, such as why is it that this allegedly haunted estate rests behind an unlocked gate?
And speaking of commonsensical questions, who’s been dusting this for years abandoned house!? It looks really, REALLY good despite being empty and forlorn for likely decades.
And how is it that this house still has electricity? Did the electric company not notice that this house has FOR YEARS has been on the grid?
Now, there are ways to explain away such niggling details like that but the movie doesn’t even try to make sense of them and the thing is, if the filmmakers don’t care, why should anyone else?
And in a better movie you’d likely either not notice them, or just let them go.
Mediocre movies don’t have that luxury and House Of The Witch is quite mediocre. Not terrible by any means, but not that good either.