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On Mayday 1998 in the town of Dunwich, Massachusetts, Elizabeth gathers together a group of specially selected friends for a rather odd party. It turns out that she is the descendent of a malevolent witch named Lilith who was burned at the stake precisely three hundred years ago. Now Elizabeth hopes to resurrect her dreadful ancestor and has a specific (and murderous) need for the guests she has chosen.Written by
WITCHOUSE is a typical witch-seeks-revenge movie from Full Moon Pictures.
In this effort, an descendant of the witch in question invites the descendants of those who killed her to a party, where she intends to kill them off.
As anyone who has seen Full Moon movies knows, they are very much hit-and-miss. They have produced some real low-budget gems such as DEATHBED, BLEED and CASTLE FREAK. But there are also lesser works such as PUPPETMASTER or SKINNED ALIVE in their portfolio.
WITCHOUSE is one of the worst offerings I have seen from them. It is said to be a rip-off of NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. I have seen that movie myself. It is not much better but the comparisons are not far wrong.
Believe it or not, I actually saw the second sequel to WITCHOUSE, WITCHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE beforehand. The sequel, whilst far from being great, is much better than the plodding waste of time that the original comprises of.
The individual scenes along with the dialogue are actually not that bad. It is the execution, particularly the acting, that is the major problem.
The worst actress of the lot is Ashley McKinney. Elizabeth should have been creepy and sinister. But Miss McKinney's portrayal was lifeless. The séance scene where Elizabeth tells the "guests" about Lilith just seemed to go on and on. She uttered every line in a very monotonous manner, without emotion or energy.
The villainess of the piece - Lilith - as depicted here is one of the most laughable creations I have seen. She is much more menacing in DEMON FIRE, where she has a COMPLETELY different appearance and is played by a different actress.
The protagonists are dull, uninteresting teenagers who are clearly played by actors well into their 20s. Brad and Maria are a sex-craved couple who do nothing but that. Scott was the "nerd" who did not seem the least bit scared of anything. Tony was an absolute moron. Janet was an annoying tomboy. Jack was an unlikely hero. And Jennifer was just plain dull.
The direction is flat and the special effects are lousy. I know this is a mega low-budget movie. But this is no excuse. DEMON FIRE does better on a budget that is stated on this site to be just $26,000. The latter movie includes a strobe lighting effect that is very effective.
The background music should have been ominous but instead just added to the dreary tone of the camera-work.
Oh, and if you're looking for nudity, you're certainly in the wrong place!
Overall, WITCHOUSE is an incredibly dull witch-seeks-revenge movie. I would advise people to skip this one. I don't know what WITCHOUSE 2 is like but WITCHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE is certainly a better movie than the original. I would recommend the latter movie to fans of Full Moon or straight-to-DVD horror movies. I would advise others to check out a British movie called TERROR, directed by Norman J. Warren. This creepy, atmospheric and suspenseful movie demonstrates how a witch-seeking-revenge movie should be done!
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