Movies

Coven Review

I think it’s safe to say that witches have undergone the biggest transformation within the horror genre. Once depicted as ugly, wart-encrusted hags, witches now tend to be portrayed as young, sultry sorceresses. Gone are the pointy hats and broomsticks, with most portrayals focusing primarily on spells, casting and divination. Margaret Malandruccolo‘s Coven is no exception.

Synopsis

Five undergrad witches come together in order to perform a ritual to invoke the ancient powers of the witch Ashura. The leader of the coven gets carried away and accidentally kills one of the witches during the ritual. She needs the strength of a complete coven to invoke Ashura’s powers and sends them out to find a final witch. As she absorbs power, the surviving girls plot to take her down. But the possessed witch unleashes hell on campus with only one young witch left to stop her.

Cited as ‘The Craft meets Suspiria’, Coven certainly shows its influences throughout the movie. However, whilst there are a number of similarities, Malandruccolo adds her own unique take on the genre with spellbinding results. Writer Lizze Gordon also plays the lead role of Sophie, a novice witch trying to contact her deceased mother. Her first encounter with the coven isn’t a pleasant one (involving a magical altercation with an apparition of a snake for good measure) However, feeling that the witches are her only chance of bringing her mother back, she reluctantly agrees to help them invoke Ashura’s power.

With a great supporting cast consisting of Margot Major, Sofya Skya, Jocelyn Saenz, Jennifer Cipolla, Miranda O’Hare and Adam Horner, Coven is a really good movie. With such a low budget there’s some GREAT special effects and, unlike some indie flicks, it isn’t confined to just a few locations. My only issue was the blatant continuity error that occurs just short of the half hour mark. That, coupled with the odd audio blip here and there, is the only reminder that you’re watching an indie movie. Everything else was fantastic.

Summary

If you’re a fan of The Craft, Suspiria and other witchy movies then Coven is definitely one to check out. It’s due to be released on digital and DVD on July 14. Until then, here’s the trailer to enchant you.

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The Redeeming Review

Synopsis

The synopsis for The Redeeming states; ‘A disturbed single mother confronts a mysterious stranger and the echoes of her past to protect her home.’

Vague, ominous and yearning for more. The movie centres around Joyce (Tracey Ann Wood) who lives alone in a secluded country house. From the outset we’re given a glimpse into the woman’s tentative psyche, which is only exacerbated with the introduction of John (Ryan Wichert) The young man has apparently injured his arm and seeks refuge in her home. Joyce obliges and not only lets the man in, but tends to his wounds as well. As the movie progresses it becomes apparent that not all is as it seems. The pair, despite apparently not knowing each other, seem to share a dark bond.

The Redeeming

Review

As far as psychological thrillers go, director Brian Barnes does a great job of building suspense and keeping us on our toes. Personally, I thought from the outset that it was going to be a straightforward, cliche-ridden plot, but as the movie progressed I realised how wrong I was. The movie keeps you guessing throughout, with both characters portraying a secretive, almost sinister side at times. Think Misery with a paranormal twist and you’ll be close to the plot.

The Redeeming

The Redeeming was made with a considerably low budget, yet Barnes managed to overcome this through great casting and good cinematography. The only thing lacking for me was the intensity. There seemed to be a slight reluctance from both parties to be physically assertive when the time came. Whether this was down to the low budget and the subsequent “don’t damage my house” rule, or just an oversight in general, it was the only negative I could really find. However, with a convincing portrayal of diminishing mental health, a decent rapport between the pair, and a satisfying ending, the movie more than makes up for this.

The movie is available on demand from a variety of sources. Click here to find out more

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The Psychics movie review

The Psychics movie review

One of the great things about Horror is the amount of sub-genres. Slasher, Monster, Paranormal; there really is something for everyone. One sub-genre that tends to divide opinion is ‘Found Footage’. While some favour the rustic, authentic perception that this style can create, others view it as a cheap, easy cop-out. Personally, I don’t mind it and I think it’s a great resource for any new filmmaker faced with budgetary constraints. Providing there’s a decent story and good acting, I’m more than happy to accommodate the shaky camera, questionable audio and inconsistent lighting that tends to come with found footage movies. Thankfully, The Psychics presented hardly any of these issues.

Synopsis

The synopsis for The Psychics states; A woman making a documentary about psychics searches for answers surrounding the disappearance of her sister. Not a lot to go off, but sounds intriguing enough. Cited as ‘the third Norwegian found footage film ever made’ the movie stars Kirsti Lovas in the lead role with support from Oddrun Valestrand and Frank Thomas Holen Andersen. As you may have guessed by now the movie is subtitled. So, yes, you’ll be reading a fair bit (unless you speak Norwegian of course!) Yet, this doesn’t take away from it being quite an intriguing film.

The Psychics movie review

Lovas’ convincing portrayal of main character Camilla was one of the movie’s biggest strengths. This, coupled with the intriguing storyline and effective cinematography throughout the majority of the movie gives it a thumbs up from me. The shaky camera during the first part was a bit off-putting, but I was pleased to see this improve greatly as the story progressed. Writer/Director Tomas Sem Løkke-Sørensen has done a great job in merging crime/mystery with a supernatural twist. He has created a gripping storyline that increases in pace as the movie progresses before reaching a satisfying climax.

The Psychics movie review

In Summary, the movie is pretty good considering the total lack of budget. With a great cast, interesting storyline and a nice mockumentary approach, The Psychics is great showcase of Løkke-Sørensen’s filmmaking abilities. The movie has had a successful festival run and is now available to purchase on DVD and rent from Amazon

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