Something Wicked DVD Review
Written by Richelle Charkot
DVD released by ARC Entertainment
Directed by Darin Scott
Written by Joe Colleran
2014, Region 1, 91 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on March 17th, 2015
Brittany Murphy as Susan
Julian Morris as Ryan
Shantel VanSanten as Christine
James Patrick Stewart as Bill
John Robinson as James
While films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Rosemary's Baby, and Scream rank amongst the thousands of movies that breathe life into the horror genre, I would place Something Wicked on the other side of the spectrum. This film is so poorly executed on all fronts that it is baffling it managed to crawl into production at all. Boasted as the last movie that Brittany Murphy acted in, which will only make fans of hers sad, as even she delivers a clunky performance. Something Wicked will leave viewers ripping the DVD out of their players and throwing it off of the highest balcony.
Christine and James are a young couple, happy and floating in the ether of true love, but when James announces to her parents that he plans on marrying their daughter, he is met with questions of the maturity of their relationship. "I think it's important for a young woman like Christine to finish her education," her mother explains, which only irks James into a stewing, silent anger. That night on the drive home, tragedy strikes when a train hits the vehicle and instantly kills Christine's parents. Shortly after, James and Christine are wed, still mending from the emotional wounds of their loss, which are ripped right open again when a masked stalker begins to torment Christine to the brink of insanity. With motives being questioned by anyone involved whatsoever with Christine, the narrative becomes a whodunit rife with red herrings.
One thing that is absolutely intolerable in mainstream horror in the past decade is the importance placed on a twist ending. When the scripts begin as weak, putting too much weight on a big surprise in the culminating minutes will often thud onto the screen with absolutely no foreshadowing to back it up. Not only is this the case in Something Wicked, but the ending still remains unoriginal and so easy to guess that audiences will immediately rule it out as a possibility simply because it is too blatant. As a point of fact, while watching this movie and about thirty minutes in, my roommate made a joke and guessed an outrageous ending that made no sense to what had happened that far in, but to our surprise, it came true.
Piled onto the unforgivable heap that is this film is a cast of stone-faced actors completely sterile of any ability to emote. During the several attacks that Shantel VanSanten's character Christine faces, audiences will find themselves wondering how she could feasibly remain so calm, while in other scenes she over sells fear to an eye-roll worthy extent. Similarly, John Robinson's depiction of James is slimy and cold, unconvincingly portraying someone pushed to the end of his rope in the name of love, but instead like an eerie loner who scuffles through bars whispering at girls.
Although Something Wicked feels less like a genuine effort to make a good horror movie and more like an attempt to capitalize on the genre by making a calculated story, the only redeemable factor is that if it is viewed with friends who feel similarly about it, it is a laugh-out-loud, knee-slapper of a movie; but for all of the wrong reasons.
Video and Audio:
The aspect ratio of the film is presented in a letterbox format to preserve the scope of the original theatrical exhibition, which does the film justice as it appears sharp and bright.
The Dolby 5.1 digital soundtrack remains even throughout the duration of the film and is at no point too front heavy.
There are no special features included on this disc.
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