PYEWACKET **** Canada 2017 Dir: Adam MacDonald 90 mins
Director Adam MacDonald returns to the horror genre following his 2014 film BACKCOUNTRY, with his second feature film the suspenseful PYEWACKET. Leah (Nicole Muñoz) lives with her mother (Laurie Holden) and when Leah’s father dies she is forced by her mother to start a new life. This new life is in a cabin in the remote parts of the woods, miles from her high school friends. Her only solace is her fascination with black magic which she uses in anger to get revenge on her mother.
Leah performs the ritual which involves awakening an old witch known as the Pyewacket to kill her mother. When strange occurrences happen around the home, and in her life she realises that what she has done in in fact real. Trying to reverse the spell and get rid of the Pyewacket, Leah hopes to make everything right, but sometimes things can not be undone. It is a slow build throughout its 90 minute running time but it is very well written and has the perfect amount of drama, tension and atmosphere. As for the Pyewacket itself, you hardly see it and when you do its in the right amount of light, never showing too much and keeping you questioning what it could be. The whole film is held together by strong performances by all, but especially the on screen mother/daughter pairing of Laurie Holden and Nicole Muñoz in their roles respectively. As mentioned this is only the director’s second feature film and with both of those being standout movies, MacDonald will be a writer/director to keep an eye on in the future. David Cronenberg better watch out as MacDonald is coming to get the crown of Canada’s horror master.
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder‘ Hopkins