The kind of witch flicks I like are hard to come by, but I never stop hunting for them. Here’s how it turned out when I made a double feature out of Antidote and Wicked Witches.
Killer Instinct is the only other horror movie the director of Antidote has made since 2001, and it kind of shows. I simply can’t imagine what he was going for with this movie. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a horror movie or an action flick, so instead tries to separate the two as much as possible, leaving us with two entirely different styles of film, both of which feel incomplete.
Adorable former wrestler Randy Couture is some sort of Indiana Jones treasure hunter in Mexico (so naturally the movie needs to be referenced in the dialogue). When he is first introduced in a bar, we get freeze-frame title intros (The Treasure Hunter, The Side Kick, The Love Interest, etc.) during a brawl. It’s a weird and unnecessary device to use in a movie that isn’t clever, exclusively action, or grindhouse at all.
Then we meet a couple trying to save pregnant women and children in a Mexican village from some sort of infection. They keep running into women who look at them with glowing red eyes and then whisper some sort of warning to them about the witch. Best part: the dude and his buddy get shirtless.
So the female lead tries to research witches. That’s about it. And when she goes all Beauty Shop attitude on another healthcare worker complete with the finger wave and head movements, I didn’t know if I was supposed to laugh or stop watching the film.
I probably should have stopped watching.
While wandering through the wilderness, Couture occasionally runs into the couple, warns them the witches are after them, and tells them he doesn’t give a shit and to deal with it themselves.
Nothing continues to happen, the two storylines eventually converge at a temple where we get a brief moment with the queen witch, and then the movie comes to an abrupt conclusion, the tone once again leaving me with no clue as to what this film was going for.
WICKED WITCHES (2019)
I was psyched for this one when I stumbled upon the trailer online. I was quite satisfied when it was all over, and not just because the film only runs a beautiful 75 minutes long.
Wicked Witches doesn’t try to be complicated, so it’s perfect for horror simpletons like me. It’s all about the crazy witch bitches tearing guys apart in the woods. Well, not quite. It does try to create atmosphere and a slow burn feel at first, but it’s not as enticing as it could be.
A really cute dude goes to hang out with his buddy at an old farmhouse from their youth. The friend is acting darkly mysterious from the start, so it’s not clear why the main guy isn’t like, “You’re fucked in the head. I’m outta here.”
Instead, he does drugs with the weird buddy and then immediately begins having creepy hallucinations. There are also pretty girls staring strangely at him wherever he goes, but I guess he thinks freaky girls are hot.
We at last get to the good stuff following a very long partying montage with the main guy’s buddies. His weird friend shows up and brings in a bunch of girls to join them, which is when all hell breaks loose.
For a moment I was worried this was going to get lame as hell, because the guys stumble upon a bunch of Blair Witch sticks in the woods, but Wicked Witches does what Blair Witch didn’t: it gets awesome after the sighting of the sticks.
Bloody slaughter, practical effects, crazy witch bitches running around the woods, snarling and flashing their gnarly demon teeth, one cute guy with an axe trying to stop the insanity…this is the kind of horror fun I live for.
In a way, the premise reminds me of Hulu’s Into the Dark installment Treehouse, only much more focused on delivering a midnight movie horror party than bog things down with details.