“Curse of the Witching Tree” marks the directorial debut of British film maker James Crow. Having previously written the indie thrillers "He Who Dares" (2014), "The Warning" (2012), and "Riot" (AKA GBH - 2012), his latest script has him taking the directors reigns himself, for this supernatural tale of ghostly goings on a remote rural farm.
Amber Thorson (Sarah Rose Denton), has just purchased a farm for herself and 2 children. Her husband is in the hospital, languishing in a coma with little or no chance of recovery and this farm had been their life-long dream. So this is her way of living out his final wish.
When her young son Jake (Lawrence Weller) is bullied into letting some of the lads at school hold a séance in the barn, it marks the start of a series of very strange events. Noises can be heard at night, shadowy figures can be glimpsed both inside and outside and they all seem to suffer from strange nightmarish visions about a hooded figure with a knife, particularly her teenage daughter Emma (Lucy Clarvis).
Seems the old farmhouse has something of a history, dating back to the middle ages, when the plague ran rampant and accusations of witchcraft were banded about quite freely. Ill fate has befallen many a person who has lived there over the years. Including the previous owners, which has caused the locals to joke about it being cursed.
But despite the mother insisting there are no such things as witches or curses, it seems there is definitely something supernatural going on, which threatens to endanger them all.
Also starring Jon Campling (Harry Potter, Jack the Giant Slayer), Dean Maskell (Green Street 3) and model Danielle Bux (that’s Mrs Gary Lineker to you and me) and produced by the lovely Lucinda Rhodes, who I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting a number of times (who also produced forthcoming “No Reasons” and “Death Walks” and starred in “Fall of the Essex Boys” and “Dead Cert”), the film is basically your traditional old fashioned ghost story.
Despite its low budget, the director manages to make it look like it had more money than it probably did, making the most of its rural farm setting. However, whether you’ll like, this will depend on your love on ghost-stories and indie horrors. I quite enjoyed it and there were some lines of dialogue that had me laughing out loud (though I should stress this isn’t a comedy), though its style was almost like watching a scary kids film, but with added swearing, blood and female nudity thrown in (the last one being particularly welcome).
So whilst this isn’t ‘quite’ “The Woman in Black” or “Sinister” (which it seems to borrow a few ideas from) if you like those sorts of movies you’ll want to check out this solid debut from director James Crow.
The film is released to DVD in the UK May 18th and the US May 19th
Pre-order the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk
Pre-order the US DVD from Amazon.com