TAD 2019: Our Review of ‘Witches in the Woods’

TAD 2019: Our Review of ‘Witches in the Woods’

Toronto After Dark’s opening night closes with Jordan Barker’s thriller Witches in the Woods. After debuting at London Frightfest, the Sudbury shot film that has drawn comparisons to Adam Green’s Frozen comes back home for its local premiere. But will an all to familiar premise leave it stranded in the snow?

A group of friends embarks on a ski trip only to discover the main road to their lodgings have been blocked off due too and accident. After a poor decision leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere, the group starts to splinter as their worsening conditions bring their inner issues and secrets to light. And one of the group, Alison (Sasha Clements), is not acting like herself anymore.

Witches in the Woods sets the players in place and does a good job of establishing tone, but then get mired into all too familiar territory when it comes to the stranded scenario, with people leaving to get help and not coming back leading to more people randomly walking around searching for them. Its an all too familiar setup that also gets compounded when the familiar tropes of possession get thrown into the mix, the film is certainly not breaking any new ground whatsoever.

But director Barker seems to have a good eye behind the camera as the film has a great look. The location works well here too. The script lets down everyone, especially in the final act where an “its all in your head” moment comes out of nowhere that is not earned by the film at all.  The cast is not terrible here, but Clements is really the only one who stands out in the end.

Witches in the Woods ends up a moderately entertaining misfire, but the talent involved all show promise for their next projects.

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