A Group of teenagers test the legend of an immortal witch and get more than they bargained for.
It’s always good to start off a review with the “urban myth-lore legend”. The place? An old house in the woods that is believed to be occupied by an old witch. We are told that if you can get close enough to hit the side of the house without breaking a window, you are safe. If you “do” break a window then the “wicked” come after you. Nice eh!
Scary movies seem to work well when there is a bit of a mythological circumstances surrounding it. We all remember what impact the Blair Witch Project had on us even when there was really nothing to speak of. It’s that suspicion of disbelief that sometimes gives life to things that don’t exist.
In “The Wicked”, we experience really early how a young girl, Amanda Drake (Caitlin Carmichael), is plucked from her room with the fury of a “Poltergeist” film. With the town police not taking the incident too seriously, it’s up to a group of smart-ass kids to get the action started by taking on a dare and visiting the old house in the woods. Oh, ya, did I mention that the “Season of the Equinox” is upon us which means that things are really upping the anty for the group.
Now a few of the terms used in the movie such as the name of the witch and her location were mumbled by so quick that I wasn’t sure I caught them correctly, but for clarity the witch’s house is referred to as “Open Heart”, with the witch herself being called “Ladean Loreen”. There is an old saying that goes with it that goes something along the lines of the witch ” besets her kill”…though there is no need to memorize it. Ladean Loreen was rumored to be burned by witch hunters and as a result her “wicked self” still haunts the old house.
To round up the story, we have 4 young teens who set out to the house in the forest to party and indulge in “the dare”, Zach Reese (Diana Hopper), Tracy (Jackelyn Gauci), Carter (Chase Maser) and actress Jess Adams as Julie Rand (who looks to be a shoe-in for the next potential Megan Fox) make up the group.
Working its way on the side is actress Diana Hopper playing the cute, but feisty Sammy who develops a crush on Zach’s brother Max Reese (Devon Werkheiser. They also set out to spy on the group and check out the old place providing a subplot to move with the story.
To complicate things, we have 2 deputies (dumb-shits) Karl and Mahoney who take their job way too serious and then not seriously enough (when it counts). They provide the comedy relief and the much needed (but useless) strong arm element.
The witch (Ladean Loreen) proves to be effective as a decent horror character that echoes traces of “Darkness Falls”. On one hand she is able to teleport around into puffs of smoke sporting a rather demon-like mug that usually is well concealed beneath her hooded cloak. On the other, she has a nasty way of grinding up little kids into meaty bits so that she can indulge in a bowl of immortality soup. Now if you’d skipped ahead into the credits you’ve already probably made note that the witch (as nasty as she appears) is played by hottie Cassie Keller (there’s your early hint) who fixes up real nice into one of the sexiest actresses I’ve seen in awhile. Though for the record it is young actress Diana Hopper of whom we’ll want to be keeping an eye on and who I’m predicting will go onto to great things!
In all, the film has the rhythm and pace of a “House of Wax” film. I’ve seen enough of these films, that despite what you might read in reviews, it’s a pretty good young teen horror film. The characters fit perfectly in the market model it was intended for and it keeps enough thrills churning to keep you plenty entertained.
Directed by Peter Winther, “The Wicked” was shot in Detroit, Michigan which is always a plus from my perspective in the interest of keeping work in the good ol USA. Ultimately I walked away with the impression that “The Wicked” is entertaining horror with plenty of shocking twists! A great pick for an evening of horror, humor and chills….just…. Don’t turn out the lights!
The Wicked (2013)