The Wicked Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by 101 Films
Directed by Peter Winther
Written by Michael Vickerman
2013, 100 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 10th June 2013
Devon Werkheiser as Max
Nicole Forester as Terri
Caitlin Carmichael as Amanda
Diana Hopper as Sammy
Cassie Keller as Witch
Justin Deeley as Zach
Teenagers go hunting for a wicked witch in an old house after a local girl goes missing. The road isn't so much paved with yellow bricks and munchkins as empty beer bottles and condoms, as a group of kids have decided to turn the house into a den of eniquity and impromptu knocking shop. Ding-dong, the wicked witch isn't very dead – it's not long before The Wicked comes to feed on their souls.
Of all the classic horror movie monsters, the witch is among the most under represented. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters may have had a go at scratching that itch, but it's difficult to think of many other modern witch movies. If Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Wizard of Oz proved anything, it's that witches aren't very scary (predictable joke: unless you like milk or working in a coal mine). The only truly scary witch movie which comes to mind is the Roald Dahl adaptation The Witches, which traumatised many a child in the nineties. Speaking as an adult, it's still scary. Now, can The Wicked do something along the same lines for adults?
Judging by the 18 rating and severe case of pottymouth, Peter Winther's modern fairy tale is certainly aiming for 'adult' territory. “Shut your smelly dick hole,” says the local cop to a teenage girl, in an exchange which had me giggling like one of the Wicked Witch of the West's flying monkeys. The teenagers aren't much better – effing and blinding at one another like it's going out of fashion. It gets quite bizarre at times, with one of the teenage boys describing the inside of a girl's vagina as a “batcave.” I've heard a lot of euphemisms for that area, but batcave has to be the oddest. Might want to get that looked at, love.
One suspects that the constant swearing like a trooper is an attempt by the filmmakers to distract from the more childish elements of the story. Everything about the film cries out for a younger audience. Its basis in urban legend, hokey villain and younger leads leave The Wicked feeling like a badly judged hodgepodge of ideas and themes. There's even a cute animation that plays alongside the credits, resembling something out of Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids. It takes far too long to get going (it's more concerned with whether its female lead is a lesbian or not) and once it does, it descends into a torture basement full of tied up teenagers and magic ball gags. Very little gore though, meaning that it's just the swearing that's keeping it 'adult'. It's very distracting and a little desperate, like a prepubescent swearing his head off for attention. Worse, it's missing out on a larger audience with this cry for adulthood – namely, the only people who might be impressed by The Wicked.
The witch, when she finally does turn up, looks fine. It's not enough to bring respectability to this oft-ignored subgenre of movie monster, but she doesn't embarrass herself either. Once she starts chopping up children in the basement and murdering unsuspecting officers of the law, the film becomes a little more watchable. Not enough to redeem the rest of the film, but at least it stops everyone from swearing quite so much. Rest easy, The Witches remains the scariest wicked witch movie of all time. A dull straight-to-DVD horror film, to quote the youth of today, 'wicked' it is not.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.