HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Alpha
Walking Tall
Blockers
Tongan Ninja
Black '47
Godfather Part II, The
Await Further Instructions
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
   
 
Newest Articles
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
   
 
  Pyewacket Drop DeadBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Adam MacDonald
Stars: Nicole Muñoz, Laurie Holden, Chloe Rose, Eric Osborne, Mikey Brisson, Romeo Carere, James McGowan, Bianca Melchior, Missy Peregrym, Victoria Sanchez, Neil Whitely
Genre: Horror, Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Teenage Leah Reyes (Nicole Muñoz) has been suffering since her beloved father died, and now being brought up by her mother (Laurie Holden) is bringing fresh challenges because she is not coping very well with this grief either, and Leah doesn't know which mother she will have to deal with when she returns home each afternoon from school: bad mom or good mom. This is building up a great deal of resentment in the girl, and she feels the need to lash out, but fortunately she has her friends to help her through this difficult time - or at least she did, for after one late night session with them her mother has had enough and believes a house move is the very thing she and Leah need.

The fact that the house they are moving to is deep in the Canadian forests away from civilisation may seem like a good idea to clear the head and get back to what's important in life, but let's face it, this place looks not dissimilar to the Evil Dead cottage and any number of spam in a cabin horror flicks, so you should have some idea of where writer and director Adam MacDonald was aiming for in this, his second chiller after his fairly well-received killer bear movie Blackfoot Trail. An actor by trade, he was establishing himself as a genre filmmaker to watch with these efforts, and in Pyewacket he was again making the most of a Canadian landscape that could be highly forbidding.

What is Pyewacket? If you knew your Kim Novak movies, you would know him as the cat from her Bell, Book and Candle, but the name didn't emerge from nowhere, as it was actually a witch's familiar as mentioned in centuries-old literature on the occult. Early on we see Leah getting all fangirl with her favourite writer at a book signing, an author who specialises in this subject that appeals so much to young people seeking to have some control over their lives when they feel they have very little, or indeed none. But his details of black magic rituals are very attractive to her, to the extent that she wants to try out something in that vein herself; something rather drastic.

Her mother, who never gets a name here (other than "Mrs Reyes"), is apparently the bane of her life, so in a teenage overreaction Leah decides the best thing to do would be to kill her. Now, it's a bit of a leap in logic to ask the audience to believe she would go as far as that, but MacDonald was helped out by two excellent performances in what was often a two-hander between Muñoz and Holden, so we could recognise that it was bereavement that fuelled their poor choices and irrationality, and Leah in particular was far too immature to realise that killing someone because they annoy you, or have an influence over your life you think you can do without, is no way for a reasonable person to behave. In fact, it's a pretty solid way of getting yourself arrested, convicted and locked up.

All the way through we in the audience were invited to decide for ourselves whether we believed Leah had invoked a demonic entity to get rid of her mother, or in fact her mental instability had convinced her that was what she had done. There was not much gore here, but what it did have was a strong atmosphere of dread, matching the girl's advancing awareness that her mother was not some evil force messing up her daughter's existence, but a troubled woman who was doing her best to get over a major tragedy in her life: just like Leah is. This was what lent Pyewacket its impressive, gradually building tension, that the teen was growing out of what was a petulant act within hours of maybe doing something dreadful it was too late to take back, and the final act of violence went beyond eye-rolling at some stupid girl with no sense of perspective and into a fragile and dismaying consequence of not thinking your actions through. It was that, more than any horror movie convention, which made this worth a look for those interested in something more thoughtful, even regretful. Music by Lee Malia.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 270 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: