Sunday, August 7, 2011

Witchville (2010)

Hey fans of Sy-Fy channel mediocrity, I've got news for you: "Witchville" doesn't differ from a lot of what you see, with...wait a minute, this is slightly different from a lot of what I see and review from said channel? Then slap me around and call me Bubba, this might be fun! Well, let's see if it is.

Malachy (Luke Goss), a prince who has been banished from his kingdom, has been thrust back into leadership due to the malevolent force of The Red Queen (Sarah Douglas), her daughter Jozefa (MyAnna Buring) and a whole slew of witches. Now, with the help of witchfinder named Kramer (Simon Thorp-yes, I too tried made the obvious jokes about his character's name), his right hand man Hobart (Ian Virgo), several other brave warriors, and master of the martial arts Darian (Xiaofei Zhou), he must bring this evil down.

An attempt at mixing standard sword n' sorcery fantasy, Gothic horror (some of the plot and events felt like they could have come from a British genre film from the 60's or 70's) and martial arts action, you can't say that "Witchville" doesn't have any ambition to try something different. On the plus side, the acting (save for Thorpe, whose way too over the top in his role) is fine, with Goss and Douglas clearly having fun with their roles, and Buring bringing a level of sympathy as the put upon by her mother Jozefa. The action scenes are also top notch, as is the score by Neal Arcee that adds a nice medieval flair. Also worthy of praise is the cinematography, which makes the world the film takes place in look gorgeous and foreboding at the same time.

Unfortunately, this isn't a real winner, though that's what one expects from a Sy-Fy Channel movie. For all the Gothic trappings, there's very little in the way of atmosphere, as it all feels mostly like another TV movie. Speaking of which, there's times where it looks cheap even for a Sy-Fy Channel flick, with the props and weapons looking pretty plastic, at times making it look more like people at a Live Action Role-Playing event than an actual movie. Then there's the ending, which threatens a sequel. Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's just common sense in the movie world (lol like that exists), but promising a sequel to a movie that will obviously never be made is pretty stupid.

So as it stands, "Witchville" is nothing worthy of a hardy recommendation. However, if you see it on TV or in a Redbox, you could probably give it a shot, as nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, and is one of the better Sy-Fy Channel movies I've seen recently.

Rating: 5.5/10

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