Two Witches - New Release Review
Director: Pierre Tsigaridis
Starring: Rebekah Kennedy, Belle Adams, Kristina Klebe, Tim Fox, Dina Silva, Marina Parodi
Written by: Pierre Tsigaridis, Maxime Rancon, Kristina Klebe
Produced by: Pierre Tsigaridis, Maxime Rancon
Cinematography by: Pierre Tsigaridis
Original Score by: Gioacchino Marincola
Witches don't die before leaving their legacy.
'Two Witches' is terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. It's the kind of film that is hard to sum up in one or two sentences, as proof by the official synopsis above, and as I took some notes during my viewing I quickly realised that nearly every time my eyes fell away from the screen I was likely missing some quick camera cut or flashing image insertion. That's something that director and cinematographer Pierre Tsigaridis relies on quite a lot with this film, and while it is effective on many occasions it's just overused so much that it gets a little tiresome.
The film also relies heavily on jump scares, not always a bad thing especially if done correctly, however there's just too many here and so many of these scares don't really add anything to the narrative or the flow of the film. The music is super intense and is really well put together to make these scares successful, but by going all in with the loud and explosive score it destroys any real sense of tension or dread.
'Two Witches' is split into two chapters, the first called "The Boogeywoman" and the second called "Masha" with both chapters following women affected by witchcraft in some fashion. In Chapter 1 we meet the pregnant Sarah (Belle Adams) who has a bizarre interaction with an old crone-like woman at a restaurant and soon begins to have hallucinations. After some friends intervene Sarah and her boyfriend Simon use a Ouija board and then the shit really hits the fan. Chapter 2 follows Masha who claims that her grandmother is a witch and that she will inherit her powers when she dies. This chapter starts off with Masha trying to strangle a man she is sleeping with and ends with her using her strange witchy powers to manipulate her grandmother to stab herself to death. There's a short epilogue too that involves a coven of witches worshipping an insanely creepy deity and there's a teaser for more to come.
What 'Two Witches' does do brilliantly is deliver some amazingly, grotesque imagery that will likely stick with you for a long time after watching. It's been quite a long time since a film with so many awesome, gory and creepy scenes has really affected me. There is a real sense of atmosphere in the beginning during the first chapter but that's all sort of thrown out the window in favour of stylish, smash-cut editing, which actually gets a bit nauseating at times. There were even a few scenes that made me turn away. A few of them involving a foetus...
Tsigaridis' cinematography style is definitely influenced by classic 70s horror, leaning towards the Italian filmmakers like Bava and Argento. There's a fantastic little homage to Sam Raimi's 'The Evil Dead' too (at least I think it was an homage) which is funny, albeit a little out of place. This is Pierre Tsigaridis' debut feature film and you can tell he has bags of talent but maybe he was trying just a little too hard at times. It really did feel like the film was shot over a long period of time and that it was merely a bunch of visual ideas first that were put together rather than a story first with the visuals coming afterwards. Does that make sense?
The performances are all pretty good, particularly the two leads Belle Adams and Rebekah Kennedy.
Although I was left unsatisfied by the story and particularly the conclusion, 'Two Witches' certainly is a visual treat with lots of blood and gore and viscerally disturbing images that might upset you. If that's your thing then you should seek this out as soon as possible.
- Gavin Logan
'Two Witches' is available to stream right now exclusively on Arrow