31 March 2018



Leah: 'You're all over the place.'
Mom: 'What's that supposed to mean?'
Leah: 'It means I don't even know who I'm coming home to anymore.'

'Be careful what you wish for. Someone might be listening.'

'Pyewacket can take many forms, so don't trust your lying eyes.'
Rowan Dove, author of BLACK RIVER, BLACK MAGIC.

'A teenage girl regrets performing a ritual to summon a witch in this brilliant, brooding and flat-out frightening supernatural chiller from the producers of modern horror classics The Witch and The Void, featuring The Walking Dead’s Laurie Holden.'

I love movies about witches and witchcraft, whether they be of the old Salem Witch Trial variety or the more modern version. And I've always maintained too that witches are scarier and more evil and cruel than male supernatural villains.

Like female serial killers and women drivers, witches are utterly without mercy or compassion, especially towards other women unfortunate enough to fall into their pitiless clutches. Gimme a Jason Voorhees or a Michael Myers over a Blair Witch any day of the week.

Men can be bribed with sexual favours, lol, women not so much unless they are themselves of the Sapphic persuasion. That's enough of an introduction, methinks. Now we will talk about PYEWACKET, as serviceable a little witch-and-witchcraft film as any I've seen lately.

Leah is an attractive young high school girl. Canadian, I think, as the film was made in Canada. She's turned Goth since the death of her father, an event which hit both Leah and her mother really hard as there were just the three of them and they seem to have been a tight-knit unit.

Or, she may have been a Goth before this tragic event but since it, she's immersed herself in Goth culture and customs a lot more. She says it provides her with comfort and makes her feel better. Her mother has a problem with this, screaming at her that drawing pentagrams on her person isn't the answer to her problems, or words to that effect. 'What is this, a pentagram? You wanna be a Manson chick or something?'

Siblings may have been able to share the burden of Mom's misery and growing depression and diffuse it a little. As it is, the whole thing falls to Leah, and the relationship between Mom and daughter has never been worse. Finally, the Mom, who's very young-looking and resembles the singer Anastacia a bit, drops a bombshell that devastates Leah.

They're moving house, moving far away, at least an hour's drive, from the house they lived in with Dad. 'Every day here is like Dad's funeral all over again. Moving on is impossible with you,' Mom tells Leah. 'Everytime I look at you, I see your father's face. Sometimes I wish that I could just wipe it off.' Harsh words, Mom. And will moving house change the fact that Leah looks like her Dad...?

Leah is gutted anyway. She has friends she doesn't want to leave behind, one of whom, Aaron, is turning out to be more than just a friend. Mom says she needn't change schools till
the new term, but it's not much of a consolation. Especially as Mom will be driving Leah to and from her old school every day just like she's her jailer or something.

The house is a gorgeous wooden cabin-on-the-edge-of-the-woods-type of structure. The upstairs bedroom window is the kind of window you expect to see an evil face looking out at you from and then, when you look again, the face is mysteriously gone. I love it, lol.

Almost the first thing that Leah does when she gets to the new house is to run off into the spooky woods. In their bleak, murky depths, she uses an old book of the occult to make a spell summoning up the dark spirit Pyewacket to come and kill her Mom.

Yes, I know, it's a bit extreme, isn't it? They haven't been getting along lately but that's entirely down to the bereavement and also to the fact that mothers and teenage daughters do fight. Frequently. Long and loud, in pointless arguments that go round and round in circles until everyone involved wants to shoot themselves just to put an end to it.

What do they argue about? About everything from unfinished homework to unsuitable boys to black nail polish and exactly how much lipstick constitutes tartiness on a teenage girl's lips. It's all perfectly normal behaviour.

It comes with the territory of being a teenager with a natural tendency towards rebellion against authority, but also that of being a parent who's terrified that things are changing and they can never again be the way they were before. We all go through it, from both sides of the fence. 

It's painful as hell but a natural part of life. Can you fast-forward through it? Absolutely not, heh-heh-heh. You have to live through every irritating, agonising moment or else you haven't properly paid your dues, either as a teenager or the parent of a teenager. And anyone who tells you that their teenage son or daughter is an 'angel' is lying. Or on really strong drugs, lol.

But the balance of Leah's mind is possibly unbalanced, plus maybe the house itself is working on her. Either way, one cut wrist, some shocking arboreal abuse and a whole lotta chanting later, and the die is well and truly cast, along with the spell.

There's no going back now. Leah is the bridge by which the evil spirit of Pyewacket crosses over into this world. Everything that happens from now on is Leah's fault, pretty much, including the super-creepy stuff that occurs with her pretty Goth friend Janice. You can guarantee one thing, anyway. She'll be sorry she ever heard the name Pyewacket...

The film reminds me of that other brilliant Goth culture cinematic offering, THE CRAFT (Remember light as a feather, stiff as a board?) with Fairuza Balk and her chums kissing the Goddess Ironica for an hour, hour-and-a-half (Lisa Simpson to Milhouse Van Houten in THE SIMPSONS!).

Also, fans of the 'Nineties/'Noughties Finnish love metal band HIM, fronted by heart-throb Ville Valo, will be thrilled to see one of their old posters adorning Leah's wall. And not just in passing, either. They get no less than a full-screen close-up. Methinks the director is a fan, or even a pal...! Here, any chance of an autograph, mate? I'm totally asking for a friend...  

Key talent:
Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead, The Mist)
Nicole Munoz (
Once Upon A Time, Hemlock Grove)
Chloe Rose (
James McGowan (
Suicide Squad)
Adam MacDonald (Director, 
Lee Malia (Composer, guitarist with Bring Me The Horizon)
Jonathan Bronfman (Producer, 
The Void, The Witch)

PYEWACKET is released on Digital HD 16th April and DVD on 23rd April 2018 from Signature Entertainment.

Signature Entertainment:
Launched in 2011, Signature Entertainment is one of the leading names in UK film distribution. The team combines a wealth of film expertise with a fresh commercial outlook, delivering diverse quality entertainment to a broad audience in cinemas and at home. Signature has released over 600 titles into the UK market since inception, leading the way with innovative, bold ways of releasing and quality productions. Signature’s recent releases include The Exception starring Lily James and Christopher Plummer Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe and big-budget sci-fi sequel Beyond Skyline. Their impressive upcoming slate includes Sylvester Stallone's Escape Plan 2 and Charlie Hunnam's Papillon.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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