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Christina M. Bookwalter
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Mel Johnson Jr.
I have been patiently awaiting the release of this film. I even pre-ordered it from Tempe the Day after its release to video, which sadly is the only way to watch this film until the DVD comes out in NOV. I wait even more patiently to receive my copy, and the ton of extras it has on it.
Okay, the first Witchouse was good: Spooky old mansion, a bunch of College kids getting killed by a resurrected witch to seek revenge. Okay, it has been done before, and better...but I still liked it.
Then J.R. Bookwalter took a totally different approach with the sequel. Opting to make a Non-Sequel, he succeeded in making probably the best Full Moon movie within the last 3 years...Taking mystery/thriller/suspense approach, he did make a very good film.
I suppose that is why I was expecting such a great outing for part 3.
Witchouse 3: Demon Fire, Directed By Bookwalter, with Danny Draven as DOP...Again Bookwalter makes a Non-sequel...Taking the setting out of the "spooky old house" scenario, and putting the movie in a California beach house.
After 7 months of not seeing her friends, Tanya Dempsey (Annie), goes back to stay with them after an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Burke (Paul Darrigo). Okay, she walks in on them while filming a documentary on Witchcraft. Seeming to be freaked, her friends notice the shiner on her eye. Upset, they vow to get back at her boyfriend. They invite her to stay with them....so, they get drunk and hang around in a hot tub...Stevie, the goth-type played superbly by the beautiful Debbie Rochon. In all her goth gear, she is by far, the hottest femme fatale in the film.
So, the story goes on...they do a fake séance, and Oops, they bring back a witch that was, to our knowledge, burned at the stake 300 years ago. Lilith! Okay here is my biggest gripe...Where is Ariauna Albright? Why did she not reprise her role? She was and forever will be Lilith. And Lilith was maybe in this one 10-15 minutes...Brinke Stevens took over the reigns as Lilith - I miss Auriana! The Costume looked great, the make-up was amateurish, but in some ways she did look Darker than the Lilith played by Albright. I still want Ariauna back!
I can't say this installment was as good as the 2nd, but much better than 1.
This film was shot beautifully and had such a professional look, you wouldn't think it had such a low budget ($26,000). It really looks great. Danny Draven is as good a DP as he is a Director. As with the 2nd one, Bookwalter opted to have the film shot in many different locations and not just stuck in a house....The beach scenes were gorgeous.
While this film was not as dark as the first two, it still gave a good vibe.
The relationship between the 3 girls, the dialog, and such did seem to be very realistic....but the revenge twist at the end was very under developed, and did not have the build up it needed to make this a great film. Brinke just seemed to be placed in this film more than acting in it...I didn't even really feel this should have been a Witchouse movie. It could have just been called Demon Fire and been okay. The ending was just too rushed, and didn't make too much sense...
Overall, this is not a bad film.
Bookwalter is excellent in the directors chair, Draven, of course brilliant in shooting this.
7 out of 10
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