Horrific Teenage Angst: Our Review of ‘Pyewacket’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - December 08, 2017
Horrific Teenage Angst: Our Review of ‘Pyewacket’

Resting a film on the shoulders of a mostly unlikeable, temperamental, and ineloquent teenager is the first of a few major problems in Pyewacket, an inauspicious would-be horror story. If you inherently don’t like the main character who is fighting for her life, then there isn’t a lot of suspense. Unfortunately, our heroine isn’t even particuarly hateable, which would make rooting against her somewhat enjoyable. She’s just annoying.

Young Leah (Nicole Muñoz), a stereotypical petulant high school teenager, enjoys being quiet, hanging with her goth friends, and judging her mother (Laurie Holden). She prefers the color black and making rash decisions, which include playing with dark magic she doesn’t actually understand. All of this adds up to paper thing characterization, and the film likes to think that silence is depth, and pensive stares are meanginful.

When Leah’s mother, who says things like “I’m doing the best I can!” decides the two of them should move north to the country, Leah protests. Because, of course she does. Apparently she will miss her equally boring friends living now an hour or so away, and she thinks her mom is an awful human being for the sake of being an awful human being.

She also thinks her mom sucks at being a mom and wishes her dad didn’t die, so naturally one night when the filmmakers decide to make her mom especially awful for no apparent reason and say something highly inappropriate, Leah decides to curse her.

While this all seems real silly, it has potential for scares, particularly campy and bloody ones, but Pyewacket can’t deliver event hat. It’s clear something sinister is lurking nearby, and Leah soon regrets her decision, realizing that killing her mom isn’t the best for either of them. But the bumps in the night and wind rustling never pay off, and what little clever twist there is in play doesn’t arrive til late and it’s pretty well telegraphed. Oh, and of course some kooky expert of the paranormal arrives on the scene late to explain everything that is happening.

Pyewacket, despite its limited budget and small cast, had plenty of opportunity to deliver more frights and tell a more emotionally compelling story, and is never at fought because either of those things. Instead, we’ve a derivative and dull story about a mother and daughter who we couldn’t care less about.

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Anthony is a lover of a good story in any form, on any subject. Tirelessly navigating filmdom, he is equal parts an unbridled idealist and stubborn curmudgeon, trying to strike a balance between head and heart when it comes to pop culture. He pens stories about television, music, the environment, lifestyles, and all things noteworthy and peculiar.