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Two Witches Blu-ray Review

Written by Robert Gold

Blu-ray released by Arrow Video

Two Witches Large

Directed by Pierre Tsigaridis
Written by Pierre Tsigaridis, Maxime Rancon and Kristina Klebe
2021, 98 minutes, Not Rated
Released on October 18th, 2022

Starring:
Rebekah Kennedy as Masha
Kristina Klebe as Rachel
Belle Adams as Sarah
Ian Michaels as Simon
Tim Fox as Dustin
Dina Silva as Melissa
Marina Parodi as Boogeywoman

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Review:

Two Witches has an interesting approach to storytelling structure, one that finds characters drifting from one chapter into the next and switching the protagonist on more than one occasion. In Chapter One: The Boogeywoman, we meet Sarah and her partner Simon. Sarah is pregnant and this adds pressure to their relationship. Sarah believes an old woman has placed a curse upon her, resulting in some truly alarming nightmares. Simon encourages a break from their routine and they visit their friends Dustin and Melissa at their remote house. Following a stint with a Ouija board, Sarah learns it is not easy running away from your problems. Chapter Two: Masha follows two young women, Rebecca and Masha, who are new roommates. Masha is – to be kind – strange and obsessive. Rachel tries to get some distance, but Masha isn’t interested in letting go.

The rotating protagonist concept keeps things interesting, but at times falls flat when our invested lead is pushed into the background. We spend so much time in Chapter One following Sarah’s predicament that it is jarring when we switch focus to Simon for the finale. Sarah is still alive and going through something really interesting when Simon locks himself in a room and we stay with him. Chapter Two brings back supporting characters Dustin and Melissa, but the story revolves around Rachel trying to understand her quirky roommate. To be fair, Masha is likely the most interesting character and she gets her due as she becomes the lead in her own story, but it comes at the expense of everyone else we are rooting for. The biggest sin this film commits is that it ends abruptly – not on a cliffhanger – with a title card reading TO BE CONTINUED. I call bullshit because we are denied closure and there is no guarantee at this time a sequel will move forward.

Director/co-writer/editor/cinematographer Pierre Tsigardis makes a strong debut with Two Witches, as he effortlessly captures a feeling of dread exploring the dark world of black magic and witchcraft. Working from a script he wrote with actress Kristina Klebe (Rob Zombie’s Halloween) and producer Maxime Rancon, Tsigardis fills his tale with interesting characters, suspense and strong visuals. This is a small film with many people on both sides of the camera wearing multiple hats. The picture looks terrific and is complemented by a haunting atmospheric score from composer Gioacchino Marincola, with piano contributions by Tsigardis.

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The cast is rock solid, led by Rebekah Kennedy (Killing Holly) as the devilish Masha, a sinister witch wreaking havoc with the guidance of her dying grandmother known as The Boogeywoman, played with malevolence by newcomer Marina Parodi. Kennedy has a great smile that is somehow very unsettling as she evolves from awkward roommate to wicked witch. Belle Adams (Blind Trust) does most of the heavy lifting in Chapter One as Sarah, and is instantly sympathetic as a woman picked at random for the Boogeywoman to torment. Similarly in Chapter Two, Kristina Klebe stars as Rachel, a decent person who does nothing to deserve the wrath of the titular characters. Klebe and Adams are both instantly likeable and audiences will pull for their characters to escape their curse.

Supporting players Tim Fox (Shadows on the Wall) and Dina Silva (in her first role) co-star as the supportive and eccentric couple Dustin and Melissa. Silva’s character is the more interesting of the two, as she has a deeper understanding of the supernatural and knows to tread lightly. Ian Michaels (Easy Targets) plays Sarah’s doubting partner Simon, and does a fine job being both difficult and skeptical before becoming totally freaked out. In the role of Rachel’s mother, Mary, Danielle Kennedy (Insidious: The Last Key) is no fool when it comes to knowing her unexpected house guest is up to something.

Two Witches is a fine horror story that deserves credit for trying something different during an era of stale possession and found footage leftovers. I enjoyed the picture to a point but was put off by its sudden cheat of a finale. The film is competently made but is more interested in world-building than telling a complete story. I say it’s worth checking out, but stream it before committing to a purchase.

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Video and Audio:

Presented in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the digitally-shot picture is razor sharp and detail levels are exceptional. Colors are super-saturated and pop off the screen while black levels are bottomless with a lot of the action taking place in the shadows.

Audio options include a DTS-HD MA 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 stereo mix, both of which are solid, though I lean towards the surround track for some great isolated sound effects. Music cues are bold but not intrusive and dialogue is always easy to understand. Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.

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Special Features:

There are two audio commentaries on this disc, one from director Pierre Tsigaridis and the other from producer Maxime Rancon. Both performed multiple tasks on the film and have a lot to say, but the tracks would be stronger if edited together, as there is an overlap in information and Rancon’s comments are littered with gaps of silence. The discussion is insightful and a tad pretentious but worth a listen.

Behind the Movie is a two part behind-the-scenes featurette: Part 1 (4 minutes) starts with the director stating the film has elements of the slasher and grindhouse genres – which is only nominally true. He is joined by the producer and actor/associate producer Dina Silva who discuss the origins and inspiration for the story.

Behind the Movie Part 2 (8 minutes) finds members of the cast and crew talking about their belief in magic and their goals for the production as well as their experiences on the festival circuit.

Dina Silva sits down for an untitled interview (16 minutes) and talks about her research and prep for her character. She also talks about the production design and tells stories involving the Ouija board and some creepy moments during filming.

The Boogeywoman (8 minutes) catches up with actress Marina Parodi who appears much more approachable than her spooky witch character. She tells stories of witchcraft she grew up with and goes on to discuss her character and inspiration.

In The Original Score (11 minutes), composer Gioacchino Marincola talks about his efforts to create a memorable and unsettling score. He reveals how he accomplished certain sounds and plays various themes.

The Piano Score (11 minutes) finds director Pierre Tsigiardis seated at a 120-year-old piano playing themes he composed to complement the score.

A short collection of shots under the title Test Footage (2 minutes) play over the film score, each intercut with a Two Witches title card.

Grimmfest 2021 Q & A with Pierre Tsigaridis and Maxime Rancon (30 minutes) is a Zoom video conference moderated by Simret Cheema-Innis that is pretty self-explanatory.

The original trailer is paired with four teaser trailers.

There are two photo galleries that play as slideshows set to the film’s score. The first is a collection of production stills (15 minutes) and the second features behind-the-scenes images (2 minutes).

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Grades:

Movie: Threestars Cover
Buy Amazon Us
Cover
Buy Amazon Uk
Video: Fourandahalfstars
Audio: Fourstars
Features: Threeandahalfstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
Robert Gold
Author: Robert Gold
Staff Reviewer - USA
Robert's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
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