HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Captor, The
Hide in Plain Sight
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
   
 
Newest Articles
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
   
 
  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 415 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
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: