08th Jun2020

‘The Candy Witch’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jon Callaway, Abi Casson Thompson, Kate Lush, Heather Jackson, Richard D. Myers, Will Stanton, Hannah Ponting, Kate Milner Evans, Jon-Scott Clark, Barbara Dabson, Shakil Hussain, Hattie Willow, Richard Harfst, Shawn C. Phillips, Chelsea Murphy | Written by Scott Jeffrey | Directed by Rebecca Matthews

The latest film from prolific UK genre out fit Proportion Productions, The Candy Witch tells the story of two ghost hunters are called upon a distressed family who claim they are being tormented by an evil spirit known in their local town as The Candy Witch. But as the mystery of her curse is uncovered, surprising and sinister turns are discovered around The Candy Witch’s identity. Their hardest case yet, can they solve this evil curse before more people are killed by the demonic spirit?

I’m going to sound like a broken record once again as I extol the virtues of Proportion Productions aren’t I? No, I don’t get paid to review their films and no, they don’t have any influence over what we say about their films her on Nerdly. But there’s something that has struck a a chord with me in each and every one of their films I’ve seen – from the Unhinged remake (a sequel to which is promised on the companies website), House on Elm Lake, Curse of the Scarecrow, The Mummy Reborn, Cupid and Pet Graveyard to name a few.

Speaking of Pet Graveyard, last years first Proportion Production film from director Rebecca Matthews didn’t go down to well with a number of other horror outlets but I found a lot to like about the film that was – unfortunately – lumbered with a title that cashed in on the Stephen King remake yet had nothing to do thematically with that film. Something which, I’m sure, put off a lot of people straight away. The Candy Witch sees producer-turned-director Matthews back behind the camera once again for a film that, at least thematically, shares a lot in common with the Conjuring movies and the “ghost hunter” phenomenon on TV and online.

And once again, Proportion Productions are working within the confines of a tiny budget and limited time… Though it seems, judging by each and every new film they debut, that the company is getting better and better at making that lack of resources work for them. In the case of The Candy Witch those resources have been clearly spent on the effects budget… You see former nanny Jennifer Harper, fired for abusing kids, has apparently returned – as the titular killer The Candy Witch – who loves to kill using candy: including boiling chocolate, using candy canes like knives, suffocation by candy floss and a VERY grisly use for cookie cutters. Kills which are marked by THE best special effects work in a Proportion production to date. Gruesome is certainly not an understatement here, the camera lingers on the gore here, making The Candy Witch less supernatural horror and more slasher movie.

Where The Candy Witch also rises above a number of the companies other genre movies is the script which, even though we see the witch of the title, still is very ambiguous about what is real and what isn’t. Did the family whose kids Jennifer Harper allegedly abused kill her? Are they trying to cover it, or something else, up? And why are said family afraid of anyone talking to other townsfolk about their situation and the belief in the Candy Witch? It’s a series of questions that keeps you guessing right until the big reveal(s) as the film opens up about the truths of its story in the final third… A truth which is darker than even an undead nanny returning from the grave to kill!

The Candy Witch is released on DVD and Digital on June 9th from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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