What is Two Witches about?
Two Witches, rather appropriate considering the title, consists of two short stories that are part of a larger world that may be explored in future films. The first story, The Boogeywoman, follows a young couple, Sarah (Belle Adams) and Simon (Ian Michaels) who are on a date out in a reasonably fancy restaurant. Sarah has discovered that she’s pregnant and shares the news with Simon. Still, while they’re eating, they notice a strange-looking woman (Marina Parodi) staring at them through the window, muttering something while holding a candle.
Sufficiently creeped out, Sarah and Simon leave the restaurant and continue on to their friends’ house, noticing that the strange-looking woman appears to be following from a distance. They eventually get to their friends Dustin (Tim Fox) and Melissa (Dina Silva) and settle in for a fun night, but something strange is going on that will send the four of them descending into hell itself while the strange-looking woman watches.
In the second story, Masha, we follow Masha (Rebekah Kennedy), a young woman who lives with her older roommate Rachel (Kristina Klebe). One day Rachel notices that Masha seems to have been assaulted by a one-night stand, not knowing that the reason was that Masha tried to kill him. Indeed there’s a lot about Masha that Rachel doesn’t know about, a lot of it to do with Masha’s past and her family line… a family line that includes a powerful witch who might just be passing on soon, letting her powers flow to Masha – who might not exactly be the best person to handle them.
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Two Witches Review
Two Witches is definitely working on building something bigger that’ll hopefully be explored in future movies, fortunately though, that doesn’t mean they’re holding anything back in this one. Both stories are intensely filled with nightmarish imagery and some truly stunning shocker moments. The Boogeywoman in particular uses a lot of simple imagery to build tension, the kind of things that might scare you in the middle of the night like a creaky door or a strange shadow. These allow the film to get under your skin and subvert expectations in order to create a truly incredible jumpscare.
The jumpscare is prevalent in Two Witches, both stories absolutely loving that combination of a slow build-up followed by a strange shocking image and a loud sound. A lot of the time a film that leans on jumpscares can be irritating but Two Witches handles it smartly and uses these moments to let out just a hint of tension before setting things into high gear and really freaking out the audience. The imagery is quick, sometimes just using the classic “Things look weird when you speed the footage up” trick, but enough to get you unnerved which is the intent.
Two Witches does have its odd moment of pushing right up to the line of taste, let’s just say when your horror movie’s plotline involves a pregnant woman then there is a non-zero chance of something fucked up happening to that baby, but it never really shows the tasteless elements. It certainly hints at them, it shows everything but and leaves you with a disturbing (and gloriously edited) soundtrack that’ll make you feel uneasy just thinking about it, but it does it all well.
The visual trickery of the film is its strongest suit, it knows just how to slowly go from something realistic to this stylised nightmare and hold that nightmare for a long time. Even the simple shots can lead to something effectively terrifying that really grabs hold of the audience. Now, one of the tricks it does that’s not exactly great is an editing trick that mirrors strobing and strobing effects are just never that good, they tend to do this right when the stories are hitting their climax and it can create a bit of a headache.
There’s also the vibe that they’re stretching these two stories out to feature length and really they’d have been fine with a few scenes cut. A lot of anthology films tend to use three stories in order to go with the standard three-act structure of a film, which in turn lets the short stories have a little more impact because they’re forced to cut out a lot of the excess. It’s not a complete dealbreaker but there are times when the pacing is off because the structure of the thing is so strange.
Two Witches Overall
Two Witches is a terrifying film with a few minor flaws that are easy enough to overlook. Its stories are intriguing and filled with jaw-dropper moments of absolute terror that will stick with you for a while. The promise of To Be Continued at the end of the film suggests that more wild witchy stories are on the way from these creators and hopefully that happens because their take on the witch is absolutely fascinating and hopefully will be expanded upon in the future but what we have here is a genuinely great little film.
What did you think of Two Witches?
Two Witches was showing as part of the A Night Of Horror international film festival at Dendy Cinema Newtown from 17th-23rd October 2022
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