Rebecca Matthews directed her first film, Pet Graveyard, last year. Now she’s back with The Candy Witch, another tale of supernatural mayhem. I wasn’t particularly impressed with her debut, can her second film deliver the goods?
Reece (Jon Callaway, The Mermaid’s Curse) and Kat (Abi Casson Thompson, Cupid) are psychic investigators. A late-night phone call brings them to Cronehill Farm. It seems Ruth (Heather Jackson) is convinced she and her family are being haunted by an evil presence. Her husband Willie (Richard D. Myers, Winterskin, An English Haunting), and two kids, Tom (Will Stanton, Don’t Speak) and Lea (Hannah Ponting) think she’s nuts.
It seems they fired a former nanny, Jennifer Harper (Kate Lush, House on Elm Lake) for abusing the kids. Shortly after that, several kids from the village went missing as did Jennifer, now referred to as The Candy Witch. And Ruth thinks she’s back, and responsible for a string of recent deaths.
The Candy Witch is one of twelve films Matthews is attached to as a director on IMDB. From completed ones such as this and Witches of Amityville Academy to several in post and pre-production. She also has twenty-nine credits as a producer. As you know I’m not a fan of most of the assembly line productions by the likes of Steven M. Smith, (Doll House) and Andrew Jones (The Jonestown Haunting). So you can understand why I was doubtful going into it.
Thankfully, The Candy Witch is an enjoyable film. The script avoids long talky spells and allows for plenty of inventive kills. And an unexpected revelation in the last act lets the film end on a strong note. I should note that the film credits Scott Jeffrey (Mummy Reborn, ClownDoll) with the script. IMDB lists Archie Dent and Suzy Spade (Virtual Death Match) as the writers. And the film’s publicity refers to Matthews as the writer/director. Whoever wrote it, they did a damn fine job.
Of course, with a title like The Candy Witch, the kills revolve around candy. Kills that include a woman having her head repeatedly dunked into boiling chocolate and suffocation by cotton candy. And wisely they put enough budget behind the film to do the effects right. Especially the last couple which are distinctly strong and vicious for a mainstream film.
The Candy Witch will be available June 9th on DVD and Digital from Uncork’d Entertainment. You can get more info on the production company’s Facebook page.