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Russell Geoffrey Banks,
Sara Malakul Lane,
A group of people run a TV show where they set up locations to scare people. Things go horribly wrong when the producer wants them to get darker as they set up an asylum to spook the new target: a creepy guy who used to work there.
In a modern America where witches are real and witchcraft is illegal, a sheltered teenager must face her own demons and prejudices as she helps two young witches avoid law enforcement and cross the southern border to asylum in Mexico.
I love seeing filmmakers faced with extremely low budgets figure out stories that can work within their limited resources, and Witch-Hunt is just such a movie. Wisely staying away from excessive, and expensive gore (if you want it to look right) and focusing on character and a twisting story in a confined setting, the film tries hard to succeed with severe restrictions. Although flawed with uneven performances and a script that suffers from not being developed enough considering the depth of the issues it addresses within the thriller framework - still, the filmmakers have attempted something that has more going for it than the average micro-budget zombie or slasher-fest. The story is clever and involving enough to have piqued my interest and to have kept me watching. It had me curious as to what would happen next and how it would all tie together and it's unfortunate that it doesn't necessarily accomplish that thoroughly or neatly (and the intercut sections with two ladies seemingly in possession of all the info we are waiting for are the most clumsy and clunky scenes in the film - although to be fair they are tied into the denouement, but that doesn't make them work any better). The actresses can go from believable to overacting within a scene which could be the result of less experienced actors only allowed a limited number of takes, or the less trained eye of the director to recognize when a performance is off. And it's a shame their characters aren't always believable in their interactions with each other - especially when things start getting strange - but that's a fault of the screenplay, not the performance. All-in-all a commendable but far-less-than perfect offering. It would be worth it if - as another reviewer suggested - the film was remade with a properly fleshed out and realized script and stronger talent behind the camera. But even as it is, it possesses a certain charm and the willingness to try and make it more than just "a little thriller" deserves credit in my book.
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