Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't fuck with Witches

From Within 2008
Director: Phedon Papamichael
Writer: Brad Keene
Starring Elizabeth Rice, Thomas Dekker, Kelly Blatz, Laura Alan, Adam Goldberg and Rumer Willis

Witchcraft is a very rarely touched upon subject in the horror film as it very rarely works properly in a horror film. The last time I have seen it used properly is in the 80's film the Craft. From Within uses Witchcraft and the device of a curse which is used over and over again in J-horror films like Ju-On. From Within takes Witchcraft and curses and melds them together and does a competent job of melding them together. It makes an good and entertaining horror film and yet another of the Afterdark Horror fest films that I have enjoyed.
The plot basic is this, it opens with two teens looking as if they are going to consummate their blooming relationship, when the young man pulls a gun and puts it in his mouth and blows his brains out. We fade out to a used clothes store where we meet Lindsay (Rice) who is with her mom at a used clothing store shopping for a new dress for church when this panicked girl comes in, the store owners daughter and she is all bloodied and runs into the back room and locks herself in there. Her father breaks in but not before he finds here with a pair of shears imbedded in her neck. Before she does this she mentions that someone is chasing her but no one see this supposed chaser. Not soon after this people start dropping like flies, supposed suicides, but it seems something sinister is happening. We then meet Dylan (Blatz) the town's Pastor's son, who has a relationship with Lindsay and we see him beat up Aidan (Dekker) the son of a woman the townsfolk thought was a witch and Dylan thinks that he is following in his mothers footsteps and wants to put an end to him. IT all leads to a showdown at Aidan's house with a murderous mob of religious zealots.
This was a tense film, you really felt the oppression that the lead feels over the control the Christian community has over this town. The direction was good and solid, with some nice mood set during the terror scenes. The writing was solid with a solid background for Lindsay amend you really got to dislike Dylan. There isn't much gore in the film but what is there is quite effective. The film has the subtext that is stating something about how stupid and one minded Christians can be, it also felt like this was the point of the story more than the horror elements. I didn't mind that because I share this belief, but it might seem a bit heavy handed to people just looking for a good horror film. All in all, this was a good horror film , but nothing phenomenal.
I give this 3 out of 5

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