Thursday, July 15, 2010

Witchouse (1999)

Full Moon Pictures’ films are always hit and miss (mostly miss, at least for me), so I had pretty low expectations for Witchouse. Like most Full Moon Pictures’ movies, it is low-budget, has no-name actors (except for Ariauna Albright and an ex-Red Power Ranger!) and has a plot that sounds ripped off from Night of the Demons. However, I adore Night of the Demons, so I can’t deny that there was a part of me really hoping that Witchouse was a hidden horror gem.

Well, Witchouse wasn’t the gem I wished for, but it still wasn’t THAT bad.

The plot is awfully familiar: gothy outcast invites kids who have wronged her to a party at an isolated, creepy house, conjures a demon to get revenge and pretty soon everyone is popping up as scrunchy-faced demons.

You are probably thinking you’ve seen this all before in better movies (which is exactly what I thought when the film started) because Witchouse is pretty much a lower budget version of Night of the Demons. It has some pretty bad acting and silly effects, but despite these flaws, it still manages to have that Full Moon charm!

Take the first killing: a couple is first to arrive at the creepy house and head down to the basement for some quality “bow-chikka-bow-wow” time. However, they are not alone in the basement and a silhouetted shape seems to glide over to them, eyes glowing green, before they are both impaled. The green glowing eyes completely sold this scene for me, despite the fact that it never happens or is referenced again in the movie! I also thought a scene where a potential victim uses a silver plate to reflect some bolts of electricity being hurled by a demon was pretty cool. The effects were certainly cheesy, but they reminded me of old-school horror movies, which gave me the warm fuzzies! Both of these scenes could be described as “bad” and/or “corny” by most movie viewers, but I found them oddly endearing. Charming scenes like this make this otherwise derivative movie worthwhile!

While director David DeCoteau is known for parading around male flesh, Witchouse is remarkable restrained in this respect. The few pecs he does put on display are amazingly refined, though, and there are a few instances of men running around in their tighty-whities (both which I enjoyed!). There is also restraint when it comes to gore, as most deaths occur off screen and the focus is more on the special makeup FX of the demons. They look okay, but nothing too special.

The story, by Matthew Jason Walsh, is pretty generic as discussed earlier. The characters and dialogue are both pretty bland, but one stoner couple is pretty hilarious AND the girl totally kicks a demon’s ass. It’s pretty sweet when she just cold clocks the demon and it goes tumbling backwards into a room. However, the rest of the characters are all pretty interchangeable and forgettable, so there’s not really anyone to root for.

Still, Witchouse has its moments despite its many flaws! If you enjoy cheesy, corny B-movies from Full Moon Pictures you should definitely check this out. Just keep your expectations low, drink a few beers and enjoy this Night of the Demons-lite movie!

Available from Amazon!

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