Making a film about a witch can be a tricky affair.
There’s the need to inject something fresh into a bloated sub-genre whilst also obeying some of the pre-established tropes of films of yesteryear.
The Wretched is interesting because it does play with some of those aforementioned tropes but creates something quite unique and at times bone-chilling.
We follow Ben, the son of a newly divorced couple who comes to spend some time with his dad and work at the local marina.
What he doesn’t know is a witch has got under the skin of the family next door and is baying for the blood of children.
Here’s where The Wretched has an almost fairytale quality with the witch preying on the children and using the adults as pawns in her game.
In terms of practical effects, when employed they look spectacular with the witch’s own design very slimy and chilling when fully revealed.
There is a slight over-reliance on CGI for making her ‘twitchy’ in the early parts of the film and a teenage drama sub-plot that doesn’t really pay off until the finale – but this enclosed story is extremely confident with where it wants to go.
One sequence felt straight out of the Hannibal TV series as our witch finds a woodland animal to hide in.
Writer/Directors the Pierce Brothers ask for faith in their vision from the start and if you immerse yourself into this little world they’ve created, this is a truly fascinating and frightening journey into darkness.
The Wretched is clever, confident and gives us a witch we’ve not seen on screen to date, making it an essential watch.
Catch The Wretched at Grimmfest 2019 on Saturday 5th October.