always think the grass is greener. No matter how crummy you think your life is,
the uncanny double stalking you will invariably try to take it over. Having
just turned eighteen, Jordyn’s doppelganger visions carry additional coming-of-age
baggage. She faces a decidedly sinister inheritance in Jason Bognacki’s Mark of the Witch (Another, a.k.a. trailer here), which releases
today, the sixth day of the sixth month of the year 2016, which doesn’t really
give you 666, but its close enough for marketing purposes.
Be that as it may,
Jordyn is about to have the worst birthday party ever. It all really starts to
go south when her kindly “Aunt” Ruth tries to commit hari-kari with the cake
knife. Shortly thereafter, Jordyn starts having strange sexually-charged waking
dreams featuring her friends and co-workers acting distinctly out of character.
She blacks out, often coming to in rather inconvenient places. Perhaps most
disturbingly, her own doppelganger seems to be trying to seduce her, which could
keep a Freudian analyst busy for years.
we learn this is Jordyn’s family legacy. Aunt Ruth will try to help her break
the chain, but they might be outclassed by the doppelganger. After all, she has
done this a time or two before. Unfortunately, the entire experience might just drive Jordyn nuts, regardless of the outcome.
are the broad narrative strokes, but Bognacki is really more interested in
crafty wildly heady, Giallo-on-acid viewing experience. Sex, violence, ritual,
and madness are pureed together on-screen, in deliberate hopes of disorienting
the audience. Still, Witch didn’t
just spring out of a hallucinogenic bender. Bognacki constantly tips his hat to
predecessors like Suspiria, Cat People,
and The Omen.
Wolfe’s Aunt Ruth provides him a key assist in this respect, bringing to mind
the iconic horror performances of Ruth Gordon and Zelda Rubinstein. Horror film
regular Maria Olsen might do her creepiest work yet as the entity’s primary
alternative persona. Paulie Redding, a.k.a. Paulie Rojas, a.k.a. Ana Paula
Redding is also rather disconcertingly waifish (if not spectacularly
expressive) as Jordyn.
To be fair, this is the sort of film that will overwhelm
most actors. However, it is a tremendous showcase for Bognacki’s own skills as
a cinematographer. Every frame just radiates malevolent weirdness. Frankly, it
is rather impressive how aesthetically ambitious Bognacki gets, without falling
flat on his face. Cineastes will find it a highly debatable mixed bag in
strictly formalistic terms, but there is more than enough creepiness to satisfy
adventurous genre fans. Recommended for horror connoisseurs who are not prone
to seizures, Mark of the Witch is now
available on VOD platforms, including iTunes.
Labels: Horror Movies, Jason Bognacki, VOD