Cleaning Out The DVR: House of the Witch (dir by Alex Merkin)


(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 178 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on February 1st, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded House of the Witch, off of SyFy on October 7th, 2017!)

Let’s say that you’re a teenager and you’re living in a small, rural town.  There’s not really much to do, other than making out in pickup trucks and hanging out at the local diner.

However, there is a haunted house.

Of course, the official story is that the house isn’t haunted because everyone knows that there’s no such thing as ghosts.  That said, the house does have a long and somewhat infamous history.  And everyone knows that going anywhere near the house would probably be considered to be trespassing.  In fact, one of your classmates is currently missing.  He was last seen talking to two girls who dared him to pry the address off of the house’s front door.

So, it’s Halloween night.  And you’re living in a small town and there’s not a whole lot to do.

So, the question is: would you break into the haunted house?

Now, I know a lot of you are probably saying that there’s no way you would break into that house.  You’re too smart for that!  No way would you break the law and risk your lives just so you could go inside a condemned house!  You’re just going to go home early, do your homework, and get some sleep so you can wake up rested and ready for school on November 1st!

That’s what people say but we all know that’s not true.  If I found myself in that situation, I would totally break into that house and so would you.  Let’s just be honest here.  It’s fun to take chances.  It’s fun to get scared on Halloween, especially when your best friends are the ones who are scaring you.  Even more importantly, it’s fun to think about how, for years afterward, you can brag about how you spent the night in a haunted house and you survived!

It’s human nature.  We all want to touch the freshly painted wall.  We all want to see the movies that were not supposed to watch.  And we all want to break into the haunted house on Halloween.

House of the Witch is wonderfully creepy little movie about a group of teenagers who give into their natural instincts and break into a house on Halloween.  Needless to say, the house turns out to be even more haunted than they were led to believe.  In fact, the house is home to an ancient witch.  Soon, everyone is trapped in the house and being hunted down one-by-one.  Blood is spilled.  Fingers are lost.  Faces are infected with … something.

The storyline may sound simple but it’s also wonderfully effective and atmospheric.  The dilapidated house is a truly frightening location and it just gets more frightening as the film progresses.  By the end of the movie, I was looking over my shoulder to make sure that there weren’t any witches creeping around my living room.  (Fortunately, there weren’t.)  The film does a great job of keeping the viewer off-balance.  Even though you know that damn witch is going to be behind every corner, you still jump when she suddenly pops up.

I liked the whole look of the film.  Early on in the film, there’s a wonderful overhead shot of a pickup truck heading towards the house and the scene perfectly captures not only the creepiness of Halloween but also the emptiness of life in the nearby small town.  Seeing the truck driving past empty and endless fields, it was easy to understand why the film’s characters were drawn to that cursed house.  In a landscape defined by nothing, that house and its infamous reputation was at least something.

All in all, this was a great film for Halloween.

 

2 responses to “Cleaning Out The DVR: House of the Witch (dir by Alex Merkin)

  1. Pingback: 2017 in Review: The Best of SyFy | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review — 1/8/18 — 1/14/18 | Through the Shattered Lens

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