EDITOR’S NOTE: I saw this at the always well-run Salem Horror Fest. It was first posted on October 27, 2021 and has been expanded for this blu ray release.
The Arrow blu ray release has two commentary tracks, one by director, cinematographer and editor Pierre Tsigaridis and another by producer Maxime Rancon; a two-part behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews with actor and associate producer Dina Silva, actor Marina Parodi, composer Gioacchino Marincola, a discussion of the piano music in the movie, test footage, a Q&A, a trailer, image gallery, a reversible sleeve with art by Ilan Sheady and an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel and a double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sheady. You can get it from MVD.
Sarah (Belle Adams) may have never intended to be a witch but comes face to face with the craft when she meets a strange woman at a restaurant. In contrast, Masha has always known that she will one day become one.
In Sarah’s story, “The Boogeywoman,” our heroine is pregnant and her husband cooly informs her that all her visions of witchcraft are just the hormones talking. Oh yeah? Then who is the stalker in the woods casting spells on photos of your wife? Then, as these things happen, a Ouija board gets involved and the darkness sees out.
In “Masha,” the titular protagonist is a woman who knows that her magical powers are there and waiting for her grandmother to die and pass them on to her. Despite her inability to find the man she feels will complete her, she soon finds the power — and the madness — to do pretty much anything she wants.
Although these stories don’t seem to be connected, they are at the end, as the film hints that these women are part of a larger universe. Director Pierre Tsigaridis told Horror Obsessive that “I was really influenced by Italian cinema…Italian horror movies in the ’70s were criticized by Americans because they didn’t follow a typical structure, more visuals over story. In Europe, that was more common.”
This movie starts off with a bang, featuring a witch devouring a baby, and then doesn’t really slow down all that much from there. You can see hints of everything from Suspiria (both versions) and The Beyond to Carrie, Single White Female and Drag Me to Hell in these stories. And the fact that the villain from the first story has an impact on the second excites me for how this series — I hope it’s a series! — of films grows.