Is WITCHY, the new horror comedy short written and directed by Liz Manashil a trick or a treat? Coming in under ten minutes and starring John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory), Christine Weatherup (Bosch), and Morgan Bastin (American Crime Story), this is a nice fun-size snack that festival and home audiences will enjoy.
The first half of the movie is mostly set up for the second half, establishing the father/daughter characters played by Bowie and Bastin before introducing Weatherup’s Francie. Once the trio get together, the fun starts. The comedy is broad but subtle, mostly relying on reaction shots rather than going for gut punch humor. It works for the story they’re trying to tell and keeps the horror aspects from feeling too campy.
The central theme, without spoiling it for audiences who haven’t had a chance to see it yet, is dealing with unfaithful partners. WITCHY weaves this story well and the cast sells their parts.
The cinematography is straightforward. There are a few cut points and editing decisions that seem a bit out of nowhere. It almost seemed like a few scene transitions happened because they didn’t have enough coverage in the footage to do certain things, or the exteriors don’t match interiors, so they opted for a fade out to the next scene rather than a walk-through. That said, it’s fine overall and will play well to audiences who aren’t picky about things like that.
The story is really where this movie shines, and it gets the point across handily. It establishes the premise early and delivers on that premise by the end in a satisfying way. WITCHY does a lot with a little, which is exactly what you want in a short film.
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