Directed by: Corey Norman
Always prepared for a solid anthology, I often find myself feeling underwhelmed by a small handful of lackadaisical stories with – perhaps – a decent wraparound tale, and if I’m lucky a single shiner. It’s a bit of a bummer to approach these films with that warped mindset, frequently expecting mediocrity, but I think it is noteworthy that I’m optimistic, initially. While a number of these movies do tank, the truth is I’m always aching to have my expectations completely obliterated.
Did Corey Norman’s The Witching leave my head spinning? Did it leave me feeling underwhelmed? No, to both of those questions. The simple fact of the matter here is, The Witching is an entertaining anthology that features a handful of solid, well-told and well-shot short films with a cliché but welcomed wraparound segment (I’m not going to give away much in the way of details regarding the shorts, but I will tell you the wraparound features a handful of friends hanging out around a campfire telling ghost stories and recording it all to feature on their podcast). There’s nothing damaging enough to brand the movie a waste, and there’s nothing earth shattering in its inventiveness to praise the film to high heavens. It’s just an entertaining joyride that helps to make about 90 minutes fly right on by.
The stories themselves do all feature some form of familial connection, exclusive to each tale, but it’s clearly a theme of the production as a whole, and I like that. There’s only one single short that isn’t drenched in that binding goo, and still, somehow, that film doesn’t really feel out of place at all. You’ll likely catch it when you see it, but I will say it is the second to the last tale… and it’s still a fun, kind of freaky little story.
Technically speaking the film is impressive. It looks good, it sounds good and the editing is on point. There are a few different segments that call for the addition of a monster-type of creature, and the makeup work, when needed, is also solid. To the naked eye, the film is clearly independent and didn’t have a $10 million budget to work with, but what it has it stretches to impressive lengths.
The acting gets a thumbs up, and the only negative I can say regarding the performances is that we don’t really get enough to study. But there are a good five or six stories in the picture, so viewers are obviously going to be treated to brief affairs. That’s fine. No one’s winning an Oscar, but no one is fumbling the ball and watching the season swirl down the drain as a result.
My personal favorite of the bunch would probably be a little piece about a skeptical radio DJ, but there’s a pretty bleak tale of an hour glass that also worked quite well for me. Again, nothing here can be labeled a miss. I wasn’t disappointed with any picture within the picture. Some shorts are better than others, but all entertain. So, if you’re just on the prowl for a good little rainy Saturday night genre viewing, you can’t lose with The Witching.