The Wicked 2013
Dir Peter Winther – 100 Minutes
UK DVD release 101 Films
A small town in Michigan has it’s very own urban legend . There is an old house hidden away in the woods known as Open Hearth and legend has it that if you throw a rock at the house and it just hits the wood then you are OK , however break a window and *The Wicked* will come for you.
The Wicked starts with a young girl (Amanda) crying in her bed , her mother asks what the problem is and she is told that her daughter went off to Open Hearth with some older kids and she broke the window and now the witch is coming for her. Her mother explains that this is just a story that has been told for generations to scare the local kids and everything will be OK. After closing her daughter’s door and returning to whatever task mothers do , there is a scream and when she returns she finds her daughter has just vanished!!
Now a couple of days later 18 year old Zach (Justin Deeley) and three friends Carter (Chase Maser), Julie (Jess Adams) and Tracy (Jakelyn Gauci) decide that while Zach’s father is away they will all go on a camping trip up into the woods. When they arrive they go nearby to Open Hearth and each throw a rock at the house and one smashes a window. Now they don’t know who smashed it but leave slightly unnerved and go to camp nearby.
Unbeknownst to Zach , his younger brother Max (Devon Werkheiser) and his friend Samantha (Diana Hopper) have found out about their plans and followed them . They also go the Open Hearth and throw rocks and Max breaks a window , later in the woods they are being followed and Max records a message on his camera just before they disappear . Also where the gang are camping Tracy finds a teddybear that belonged to Amanda (we know this from the missing posters) , so they decide to investigate Open Hearth for signs of the missing girl.
Phew , well that is a brief synopsis of the first 30 minutes or so. Now I must admit The Wicked does sound pretty poor , but I do love a good witch/haunted house movie and this is a bit of both. And I really enjoyed it .
The Wicked is a lot of fun , just don’t take it too seriously as it doesn’t. You have the high school kids up for a dare , the nosy younger brother and his wise-ass friend ,the two dumb and obnoxious police officers and a witch, I mean what more do you want? The house as a set is great and of course surrounded by woods gives it a great feel.
The film feels like an adult version of a Disney story .The story about throwing a rock at the witch house used to be a senior dare at high school until a group of kids went missing 15 years ago. The witch, LaDean LaRene, survived her original witch burning by eating children. Little ones keep her young. Old ones keep her strong. And pretty ones keep her beautiful. And there is also a handy little rhyme that the locals sing – “Season of the Equinox, the witch besets her kill. One less soul the town to know, taken against their will.”
The acting is well above average and the whole story of the urban legend plays out very well , there are some negative points including if only one of the gang broke a window why does the witch hunt them all? Also the ending left me quite disappointed and at 100 minutes this could and really should have come in about 20 minutes lighter. Also a real bugbear of mine is CGI and there is some here and it is not too clever – but that’s me , I like it old school !
However I believe this will polarise viewers , it is the old Marmite adage – you will either love it or hate it. I am definitely in the former , I really enjoyed The Wicked and found it a good old fashioned horror story . It is at times nasty, bloody and scary as hell but the comedic value and lighter moments really round it off nicely.
Also finally what I also really liked were all the usual horror tropes were here but the cast never adhered to the known rules of what NOT to do in horror films . They had sex , investigated strange noises, split off into groups or individually , summoned the witch , camped in the woods , went into a haunted house etc etc . Great stuff .
The Wicked has Magic , Myth and Gore wrapped in a horrific Witches cloak 6/10
The Wicked will be released in the UK through 101 Films on DVD & BluRay on June 10th 2013