Dir. Pierre Tsigaridis (2022)
Two stories intertwine to tell the story of power passed through generations.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Can I just tell you how absolutely pumped I was to be watching a film with “Property of Arrow Films” emblazoned on the top? I’m an unbelievably huge fan of Arrow, and it was a real honor to be able to review one of their films prior to its release. They’ve got a fantastic track record recently of releasing newer films that fit into their footprint, including The Stylist, which is one of my favorite films that I’ve seen this year. Two Witches follows in that tradition, showcasing the first feature film from director Pierre Tsigaridis as he delivers two tales heavily inspired by the colors and style of classic European horror. It’s creepy, stylish, and filled with some effectively used frights, playing up its Italian inspiration with an American sensibility of a linear story and an indie heart.
The first story (The Boogeywoman) is about a pregnant woman who believes that a creepy woman gave her the evil eye and turns to a Ouija board to rid herself of her hex. Her unsupportive baby daddy mocks her attempts at paranormal problem solving, but then shit starts to go haywire. The story is shocking, gory, and disturbing, a bizarre homage to the supernatural Italian films of the 70’s. It alternates between darkness and light, playing with color saturation and a rad-as-hell soundtrack, combining to create a helluva story. The second story, Masha, is about a woman who is destined to be a witch and is awaiting her transformation. Masha’s grandmother is a witch, one said to retain her youth through the use of baby’s blood. When she dies, her abilities will be passed down to Masha, who is chomping at the bit for a little power of her own. The film is crafted out of darkness and paranoia, deftly mingling the two together with some terrifying visuals and a not-so-subtle take on feminism. While the first story has some excellent scenes and is generally fairly competent, Masha is where the film really shines. Rebekah Kennedy, who plays the titular role, is outstanding and creepy as all fuck, and this section of the film alone is worth the price of admission.
Kennedy with the Carrie realness.
Two Witches easily sidesteps the principle problem with European horror by splitting into the two stories, though Tsigaridis does expertly tie the two together. There isn’t enough time for the plot to wander or be indecipherable because they’re essentially two short films rolled into one. I’ve always said that the problem that often plagues indie filmmakers is that they’re too ambitious, that they decide to make a movie that lasts an hour and a half despite only having about 45 minutes of their story worked out. Two Witches is taut, organized, and competently crafted, with actors who feel like real people and a script that lends to the realism of the stories (despite some unrealistic moments, of course.) It can feel a tad generic at times, and it’s certainly not a particularly groundbreaking film, but there’s a lot to love here. It fits perfectly into the Arrow Video lineup, and it’s going to make a lot of horror fans really happy.
Who this movie is for: Indie horror fans, Witch movie lovers, Arrow Video completionists
Bottom line: Surreal and gory fun, Two Witches is the latest killer release from Arrow Video that is an absolute must-buy for horror fans. It’s not terribly unique and often has an overreliance on facial contortions, but it is highly entertaining, and it wears its inspiration on its sleeve. There are some great creepy scenes, and Rebekah Kennedy is going to be a star, giving a fantastic performance with shades of Sissy Spacek and Jessica Harper. The fact that you can draw some clear parallels between a modern indie flick, Carrie, and Suspiria should tell you all you need to know. Make sure to stay tuned after the credits for a nice little teaser for what may come next.