Michael Scott

Moderator / Reviewer
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
4,688
Location
Arizona
More  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
Other Amp
Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
Cheap Thrills Mains
Center Channel Speaker
Cheap Thrills Center
Surround Speakers
Volt 10 Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
Rear Height Speakers
Volt 6 Overheads
Subwoofers
2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
Video Display Device
Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
Pyewacket


full?lightbox=1&last_edit_date=1534416730.jpg

Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :1.5stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:



full?lightbox=1&update=1534416730.jpg
Movie

As I mentioned in my review of Lowlife, IFC Midnight pictures is really hit or miss from me. Many of their horror genre titles are a complete miss, or films that just BARELY miss the mark. Ironically when they try for traditional blood and gore horror they tend to miss more often. It’s their slow burn indie movies that actually seem to resonate better with me. Films like Sacrifice and The Autopsy of Jane Doe were fantastic, but more traditional fare like The Devil’s Candy and Midnight Man flopped pretty badly at their job. Pyewacket is more like the first two mentioned, as it takes a slow and steady hand to the story and carefully builds up the creep level till the end comes around. I’m not usually a fan of supernatural horror films (I tend to be a heavy skeptic about the supernatural realm, thus it seems to not hit my “scare” button as much), but this one actually pulled me in, like the more popular film The VVitch did a couple years back.

Leah Reyes (Nicole Munoz) and her mother have had a rough go of things lately. After Leah’s father died things have become worse, with Leah and her best friend Janice (Chloe Rose) dabbling in the occult to keep her mind occupied. At the same time, Leah’s mom has fallen into the ever popular pit of alcoholism, downing wine like most of us quaff water. However, it’s the final straw for the young woman when her mother uproots the little family and moves them out into the back end of nowhere in the middle of the woods. Furious that what remnants of her life have been uprooted, Leah calls upon the spirit of Pyewacket and curses her mother, thinking that it’s nothing but a way to channel to her aggression and impotent fury.

As with most of these things, Leah and her mother repair their relationship, but not too long after that strange things start happening. It’s only then that Leah realizes that her calling forth a cruse from Pyewacket was NOT just mindless entertainment, but actually a reality in which a voracious spirit will stop at nothing to satiate it’s darkest desires. Desires that were born from a simple child’s curse upon a struggling parent. One that may not be stoppable.
full?lightbox=1&update=1534416730.jpg
The actors also sell the film. Nicole Munoz could have been your typical “selfish teenager”, but instead we get to see WHY she’s struggling so much, and why she invokes the curse. It’s less a rebellious feature of her personality, but rather an awakening that actually opens her up to healing the broken relationship between mother and daughter (although it ironically ends up being the thing that may tear them apart even further). Laurie Holden as Leah’s mother is equally good, turning in a solid performance as the struggling alcoholic. Instead of coming across as trite or scummy, you actually sympathize with the mother who is trying to deal with a painful death, yet also take care of and protect her remaining daughter. Both of them make up the real pull of the film, and with the added creep factor, making for impressive leads.

If I have anything negative to say about the indie film, it’s that it doesn’t really reinvent anything. Pyewacket is a film that has been done before, and done better in some ways. However, what it does do is create an effective thriller, even if it really isn’t anything that NEW and exciting. I ended up enjoying the little creepfest a lot more than I expected to, and with the review of Lowlife, makes for some of the better IFC Midnight films in quite some time.




Rating:

Not Rated by the MPAA




Video: :4stars:
full?lightbox=1&update=1534416730.jpg
Pyewacket comes to Blu-ray with a solid looking 1080p transfer (most likely from a digital shoot), and looks like many low budget horror movies without looking cheap. The color palette is rather subdued and bleak, with a strong push towards the blue and gray end of the color spectrum. The bleak and desaturated looks of the film doesn’t do too well for primaries and heavy colors, but it is still effective and well detailed. Up close facial shots show the most improvement, with intimate clothing details a close second. Blacks are deep and inky, but do show off some banding and crush in the woods. The long shots tend to fluctuate in the clarity department, offering a more hazy and less focused approach than the close ups and mids do. Yellow is also prominently displayed throughout the film (for a reason that’s best left up to watching rather than explaining). Overall, it’s a great looking disc from a technical standpoint, but suffers from the bleak and bland color grading indicative of the genre.




Audio: :4stars:
full?lightbox=1&update=1534416730.png
Like usual, Scream Factory provides the obligatory 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD MA tracks to enjoy. Once more, I will choose the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track as the superior of the two, as it has a much more aggressive sound and a wider feel to it (naturally). The score by Lee Malie is creepy and effective, softly drawing the viewer into the witch story, and then jarring them awake with some sudden “gotcha!” moments that come out of nowhere. The vocals are clean and never muted, allowing the dynamic range to swing wide without ever having to lower or raise the volume throughout the movie. Rear channels add in a good deal of ambiance in the woods, as well as the creak and grown of boards under the feet at times. It’s an effective track for a budget film, and one that fits the movie quite nicely.







Extras: :1.5stars:
full?lightbox=1&update=1534416730.png
• Making of Featurette
• Trailer









Final Score: :3.5stars:


Pyewacket won’t revolutionize the witch horror sub genre, but like The VVitch, it is a nice slow burn horror film that really pays off in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and while its slow pace may turn off some horror viewers, it is a good flick that knows how to work with the nuts and bolts of the genre. Scream Factory’s Blu-ray is well rounded in the audio and video department, but sadly is a bit weak with the included extras (something MOST IFC Midnight films suffer from, although Lowlife was jam packed). Definitely worth a good watch.



Technical Specifications:

Starring: Nicole Munoz, Laurie Holden, Chloe Rose
Directed by: Adam MacDonald
Written by: Adam MacDonals
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH,
Studio: Scream Factory
Rated: NR
Runtime: 88 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: August 7th, 2018






Recommendation: Creepy Watch

 

Asere

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
1,374
Location
Texas
More  
Main Amp
Denon AVR X4200W
Additional Amp
Parasound HCA 1500A
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo 103D
Front Speakers
SVS Prime Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Prime
Surround Speakers
SVS Prime Satellites
Front Height Speakers
Proficient
Rear Height Speakers
Proficient
Subwoofers
Dual Kreisel DXD 12012, PSA S3000i
Video Display Device
Samsung PNF8500
Screen
60"
Remote Control
Harmony Ultra
Streaming Subscriptions
Panamax M5300 PM, Monster HTS 3600
I am so glad you got to review this title since I've had my eye on it for sometime. Glad to see you gave the film 4 reels. I will rent it as soon as it is available.
 

Michael Scott

Moderator / Reviewer
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
4,688
Location
Arizona
More  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
Other Amp
Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
Cheap Thrills Mains
Center Channel Speaker
Cheap Thrills Center
Surround Speakers
Volt 10 Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
Rear Height Speakers
Volt 6 Overheads
Subwoofers
2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
Video Display Device
Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
I think you'll like it Asere. It's a slow burn, but rather rewarding
 

Asere

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
1,374
Location
Texas
More  
Main Amp
Denon AVR X4200W
Additional Amp
Parasound HCA 1500A
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo 103D
Front Speakers
SVS Prime Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Prime
Surround Speakers
SVS Prime Satellites
Front Height Speakers
Proficient
Rear Height Speakers
Proficient
Subwoofers
Dual Kreisel DXD 12012, PSA S3000i
Video Display Device
Samsung PNF8500
Screen
60"
Remote Control
Harmony Ultra
Streaming Subscriptions
Panamax M5300 PM, Monster HTS 3600

Michael Scott

Moderator / Reviewer
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
4,688
Location
Arizona
More  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
Other Amp
Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
Cheap Thrills Mains
Center Channel Speaker
Cheap Thrills Center
Surround Speakers
Volt 10 Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
Rear Height Speakers
Volt 6 Overheads
Subwoofers
2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
Video Display Device
Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV

tripplej

AV Addict
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
6,110
More  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
NAD T-777
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player
Front Speakers
7 Paradigm Reference series 8" in ceiling speakers
Subwoofers
2 Paradigm SE Subs
Other Speakers or Equipment
Nintendo Wii U Gaming Console
Video Display Device
Samsung UN75F8000 LED TV
Remote Control
Universal Remote MX-450
Streaming Subscriptions
Sony PS4 Gaming Console, Panamax MR-5100 Surge
Thanks for the review. I will also try and check it out once available for rent. :)
 

Asere

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
1,374
Location
Texas
More  
Main Amp
Denon AVR X4200W
Additional Amp
Parasound HCA 1500A
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo 103D
Front Speakers
SVS Prime Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Prime
Surround Speakers
SVS Prime Satellites
Front Height Speakers
Proficient
Rear Height Speakers
Proficient
Subwoofers
Dual Kreisel DXD 12012, PSA S3000i
Video Display Device
Samsung PNF8500
Screen
60"
Remote Control
Harmony Ultra
Streaming Subscriptions
Panamax M5300 PM, Monster HTS 3600
It is available now on Hulu. I may watch it tonight :)
 

Michael Scott

Moderator / Reviewer
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
4,688
Location
Arizona
More  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
Other Amp
Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
Cheap Thrills Mains
Center Channel Speaker
Cheap Thrills Center
Surround Speakers
Volt 10 Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
Rear Height Speakers
Volt 6 Overheads
Subwoofers
2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
Video Display Device
Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
Top Bottom