Directed by: Brady Hall
Cast: Persephone Apostolou, Megan Hensley, Mike Jones
I’ve been waiting for 7 Witches to arrive for quite some time now. The greatest attraction of the picture was that I knew next to nothing about it, as seemed to be the case with most fans who – oddly enough – have been prematurely upbeat and loyal to a virtual mystery. When a film has that going for it, it’s hard to turn your head when you have the chance to check it out.
I have to say, I admire any filmmaker that can make a small budget appear large. The men and women who can do that are the men and women who know the angles, who feel the beats, who think outside the box. They’re a rather creative lot and Brady Hall proves to be well-educated in the realm of celluloid, and a seemingly good fit in the prospective ranks of filmmaking. His shots are crisp no matter how minimal and he truly does deliver some creative technical maneuvers. Very skilled individual here, no two ways about it.
The story brings a very dissimilar group of personalities together for a little gathering. So, you can bet on some uncomfortable shit happening at this shin dig. But there are a few strange occurrences taking place long before we get to the summit of the gathering. There’s a very consistently bleak tone to the film, one long setup working through the first few acts with patience. And it does a good job of allowing us to know more of our focal characters all while making you wonder where we’re traveling.
In that sense, it does, from time to time become just a tad murky.
Eventually we get into the strange ritualistic routine that comes as expected goods with a film titled 7 Witches. The conversations begin to feel uncomfortable. The characters begin to look uncomfortable. It’s a measured change in mood – not too much, but just enough, with the lone hiccup a trip to familiar town.
Honestly, the only serious qualms I have with the second half of the picture tend to lean on conversant tropes and a number of clichés that would not have been missed in the slightest. Knowing that, it’s fair to counter with the fact that there is a little bit of a Wicker Man vibe to the flick, and even more impressive is director Brady Hall’s willingness to go completely batty in those closing moments. The man holds absolutely nothing back, and it proves gruesome, savage and damn rewarding.