Witches of Blackwood is a film about a police officer who is dealing with a traumatic event in her career. In the middle of all this she is summoned back to Blackwood, the town where she grew up, to deal with a death in the family. Spooky and unsettling from the start, Witches of Blackwood spins a haunting and somewhat disjointed tale of legacy and dark secrets.
Directed by Kate Whitbread and written by Darren Markey the film explores community ties and the inheritance of family curses. Claire, played by Cassandra Magrath, is a woman who has made the choice to become a peace officer. She is a person who strives to do good, but a series of slow motion flashbacks allude to a time where she may have been tested.
These slow motion scenes are particularly jarring as it throws off the pacing and disconnects from the current time and story a bit awkwardly. Meanwhile, the scenes that show any evidence of witchcraft in Claire’s history or subconscious are sped up and almost glossed over. These fleeting scenes contain some of the most interesting and beautifully set scenes, but are gone before they can leave a lasting impression.
Overall, the story is captivating but feels lacking in some respects to character development. Claire’s character ranges from suspicious to oblivious within scenes. This is particularly odd when she joyfully greets an old friend who looks like she has seen some hard times. Claire is only momentarily taken aback when her friend makes a grim revelation. Then it’s back to reminiscing about the past.
The story is crafted in a mysterious manner, complementary to the ominous tone set up throughout the film. Witches of Blackwood examines the boundaries of good and evil and explores issues of identity. Witches of Blackwood is a creepy film rich in tension.
Witches of Blackwood will be available on VOD September 7th.
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