- 1h 27min
The mysterious disappearances of some children in San Lupo, in the province of Benevento in Italy, are throwing into chaos and terror in the population: for some it might be a pedophile, whi... Read allThe mysterious disappearances of some children in San Lupo, in the province of Benevento in Italy, are throwing into chaos and terror in the population: for some it might be a pedophile, while others believe it is a legendary witch.The mysterious disappearances of some children in San Lupo, in the province of Benevento in Italy, are throwing into chaos and terror in the population: for some it might be a pedophile, while others believe it is a legendary witch.
This is a pretty solid and enjoyable thriller. What gives this a nice weight is the enjoyable old-school folklore and backwoods mentality that this presents which depicts the way the village operates. Living up in the countryside where superstition runs rampant and their outsider nature is questioned the very second they set foot in the village, the stories and local legends about the vengeful being living among them are quite enjoyable. They set the mood incredibly well here which is then carried over with the influx of supernatural activity that occurs shortly after, from the jump-scare involving the shadowy figure approaching through the camera, a series of suspenseful sequences with the figures' hands reaching out from the darkness to grab her or the hallucinations she has dreaming of encounters with the being that are all quite creepy. As it all builds to the shocking attack on their friends' son in the house where they're all sleeping, this early build-up does a lot for the film. This carries over nicely into the second half where it really plays off the fear and build-up established throughout. By exploiting the superstitious natives with their fear of the witch as being the cause when nothing speaks as to why they've unleashed the demonic figure to begin with as the sudden turn into the raging mob ready and willing to dish out justice even against the orders of the priest who continually calls for logic and order. That this would even be possible is a great touch on the fear and power of the being in the area and allows for a nice bit of action and a fine setup for the finale where it offers a rather intriguing twist on the whole situation that isn't quite as expected as it could've been. Overall, this makes for quite a fun time although there are some issues to be had here. One of the biggest is the more straightforward and lackluster style of story that goes for such a realistic route that it never dips into overt horror territory for some. Basically keeping the central witch into the shadows for such a point that it tends to blur the lines over whether it's or not it actually exists which means that long stretches of the film where nothing happens. With very little of this one actually bringing it to the forefront of the film as the film instead focuses on the belief that it's happening rather than showing it, the tempo is a bit rough to get through without much to keep it going. It also doesn't help that the other flaw in the film, the inclusion of several subplots that don't need to be there, are included to beef up the running time for no reason as the need for the cheating boyfriend, the hypocrite priest or the best friends' marriage falling apart need to be here. These all combine to drag the film down somewhat.
Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Language.
- Nov 13, 2020