Greg, an unsuccessful screenwriter and Rachel, a beautiful journalist research an outbreak of mass hysteria in a small village. They start to uncover a secret about a deadly poison that has affected this village for years. But the cult activity has been kept a secret by the locals and when Greg disappears, Rachel is left alone to unravel the mystery and save their lives.
Not bad at all in retrospect ...
- Salem Witch Hunters review by NP
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You rated this film: 3
A film with a twist at the end is often judged on that twist. Reading a number of online reviews of Salem Witch Hunters (or The Secret Village, as it has been known), it was predictable. I am happy to say I didn’t find it so. I felt the audience was successfully lead to believe a couple of red herrings before the truth was finally revealed. That’s not to say I found Salem Witch entirely satisfactory.
As a horror, it was lacking any real chills. Instead, we get a thunderously urgent musical soundtrack accompanying tension-lite scenes, furiously trying to convince us that very solid, tangible, cowled figures walking around in broad daylight is endlessly terrifying. Equally, the two heavies in constant pursuit of heroine Rachel (Ali Faulkner) bungle her capture every time, meaning that the next time they show up, the viewer is hardly given cause to be overly concerned.
Ponderous though some of the scenes may be, all performances are fine. Faulkner excels, as does Jonathan Bennett as Greg – truly we don’t know where his allegiances lie, and this is communicated very well.
Yet the revelation at the end which really sells this. The viewer is left to trace the various clues throughout the film. Hardly incongruous at the time, they are given new meaning in retrospect.