|MOVIE DETAILS |
• Name: Witches of Blackwood (aka The Unlit)
• Year: 2021
• Country: Australia
• Director: Kate Whitbread
• Main cast: Cassandra Magrath, Kevin Hofbauer, Lee Mason, John Voce
• Runtime: 78 minutes
• Production company: Above The Line Accounting, Head Gear Films, KW Films, Kreo Films FZ, Liquid Noise Films, Metrol Technology, Serve Chilled
When a movie is with the theme of witches, it is called to be a dark thriller and horror film, is directed by a female filmmaker, and the protagonist is a woman that is soon to discover the dark heritage of her family, then it automatically calls my attention. And this is what happened with Witches of Blackwood (2021).
Originally called The Unlit, the movie centers on the female police officer of a small town that got involved in the strange suicide case of a young boy that she couldn’t prevent. Since then, some strange visions and feelings are haunting her, which get accentuated by the death of a close family member. She moves back to her home town invited by her uncle to sort out some unfinished paperwork, but what she will find there is much more wicked.
The biggest problem with Witches of Blackwood (2021) is that although the start point is not the most original one, the story has a lot of potentials for the filmmakers to dig into the occult and the pagan traditions that many of those big forest regions and small towns around the world have. In this case, the action is placed in Australia, but it could happen anywhere else. Digging in the popular folklore, urban legends, some ancient tales, that could have been gold for a setup like this, but the film remains too superficial in the subject. It never goes deep into the origin of the coven of witches that supposedly inhabit the family of the protagonist. That felt like a disappointment, to be waiting for the plot to take that exciting direction but that never happens.
The cinematography in Witches of Blackwood (2021) is dark and eery, but also visually appealing. The feeling of breathing the cold breeze of those little towns in the middle of the Australian forests accompanies the audience through the entire running time, and that is a cozy feeling. The acting is correct, and the direction of the debutant Kate Whitbread is adequate for the tone of the movie, making it an enjoyable experience. My only complaint in that terrain is the soundtrack, that naked classic guitar that doesn’t fit at all with the mood of the film and adds a tiny bit of annoyance to the watch.
Witches of Blackwood (2021) is a good dark thriller and mild horror film. But it stays too much on the surface of a theme that claimed to be exploited deeper. With more development of the story, this could have been one of the genre titles to consider this year as a must-see, but sadly it became a wasted opportunity. But we shouldn’t get stuck in what it could have delivered, we must enjoy what it actually delivers, and it is an entertaining dark film that won’t disappoint the fans of the style.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt8115996
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