Running time: 84 minutes
Starring: Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead, Silent Hill); Nicole Muñoz (Defiance, Once Upon a Time)
‘Be careful what you wish for, someone might be listening’
After the death of her father, Leah (Nicole Muñoz) has her life turned upside down by her mother (Laurie Holden) when she insists they move house, leaving their suburban family home, for a quiet place in the woods. “I need a fresh start” her mother says, “This place feels like your father’s funeral every fucking day”. Her mother also wants her to move schools, taking her away from her friends. She unsympathetically tells her after a debate over it on the drive to school that she “can finish the school year and transfer next year…. Take it or leave it”.
Leah (left) portrayed by Nicole Muñoz
Leah, along with her friends, has a strong interest in the occult and ritual. After a heated argument with her mother, Leah, being hurt deeply when, in the heat of the moment, her mother tells her she is “acting like such a brat” and that she is becoming a “loser”, and the worst blow of all, when she tells her “every time I look at you I see your father’s face, god I wish I could just….rip it off”, Leah in a state of anguish regretfully wishes her mother was dead, and later that evening performs a ‘black craft’ ritual, unleashing Pyewacket into their lives.
The next morning, Leah, now coming to her senses, is completely guilt ridden in herself and doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t want her mother to die, obviously, she was just upset and in pain. She doesn’t know what to do now, or how to undo the ritual, and when she starts hearing noises and things start to go bump in the night, she turns to Rowan Dove (an occult author who she had met at a book signing earlier in the movie) for help, but is it too late?
With a crippling ending, this film is an emotional ride from start to finish. Its focus being on the characters rather than cheap shocks and over the top gore, it’s a fantastic journey from start to finish. The cast is perfect and the film is brilliantly acted. Nicole Muñoz portrays the young Leah, full of torment and emotional distress with perfection. She is a very talented actress who I first came across starring as Christie McCawley in Defiance (2013-2015). This young lady has an exceptional career ahead of her.
The cinematography is very beautifully eerie, with some extremely creepy shots of the woods to add to the flavor of the film. I especially love the mother-daughter car scenes, they are very well shot as well as scripted.
For me, this film is perfect. It is very character driven, which is something I love in a movie. Yes, it’s a simple plot, angst ridden teenager, unstable mother, some poor choices made in anger, but it works very well and it delivers some genuine scares in parts. The ending, which I won’t spoil, is quite shocking. It gets you thinking and going back over the whole movie again, it gives a lot of food for thought.
In my opinion, this film is definitely worth a watch. Go on, you know you want to…