Directed by James W. Robertson
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
There just aren't enough haunted house films today. There are also not enough haunted house movies that include microwaves of doom and lakes of ultimate darkness. This facet of our genre is in dire need of mass amounts of death and mayhem. I love high body counts. Just putting those three words together brings an insane smile to my face. Thankfully Superstition delivers on all of these accounts. Well, kind of anyway.
Superstition starts out with your typical dumb teen moments including (but not limited to) making out in a car in front of a haunted residence and wandering around alone in said residence. Survival skills are obviously not things that are required to get your GED. But hey, if these kids were not dumb, then killing them off wouldn't be as fun.
A couple of pranksters are the movie's first victims. It seems that the large mansion they're wandering around in is home to the vengeful presence of an old witch from 1692. Her spirit is trapped in the adjoining lake, and as a result she can only move about the lot at night. This undead chick has got skills! For starters she packs a mean upper cut that would make Ken from Street Fighter seem as powerful as the dried and shriveled dick of Ed Wood's corpse. Not that I would know anything about that of course. *whistles*
The deaths are plenty in Superstition. Someone gets knocked off almost every few minutes, though at times the viewer never really gets to see what has become of them. That's a bit of a shame, but when the red stuff in this flick does fly, things get quite messy. The witch also has a sick sense of humor. The first bit of gore we get to see involves a microwave and a severed head! That scene is followed up by one that shows us why it’s always a bad idea to try to climb out of a haunted window.
Believe it or not, there is actually a story behind all this madness. The house the witch calls home is owned by a local church and is due to be renovated so that it may become the residence of the new pastor, preacher, or whatever he's supposed to be. His family and even his extended family are also along for the ride, and this spells good news because the bigger the clan, the higher the body count! These characters are only here to be offed in horrendous ways. It is really hard to care for anyone in Superstition because no one in the cast manages to become interesting enough to make a connection with the audience. They all just line up to be meat for the beast -- or in this case, the bitch.
As the story progresses, we learn that the witch was put to death by the church nearly 300 years ago. They strapped her happy ass to a pole and drowned her in the nearby lake. This wasn’t enough though. A special cross was also thrown in to make sure that hag stayed put. Now, who’d be dumb enough to remove the cross even after ample warning? MODERN MAN!!!
A young preacher, Rev. David Thompson (James Houghton), just can’t keep his damn nose out of the witch's business. After an investigator goes missing near the lake, the police drag for a body and end up finding the cross. Sure, take it. No big deal. Don’t listen to the caretaker either when she tells you to put it back. What does she know? She’s old and flabby. Maybe if she was a hot chick, someone would have paid her a bit more attention. It's a sad world we live in. *sigh*
Needless to say, the witch is now on the loose! She is no longer restricted to killing at night. No one's safe. Kids, teens, mothers, fathers, reverends, and detectives are all fair game. Sounds good, no? Unfortunately, there is a near total lack of gore after Superstition's first two deaths scenes. Also, we never really get a good look at the witch. Well … at least we got to see one of the bitchy girls get her head nailed to the floor so all is not lost. In true low budget horror fashion, some of the deaths came as a relief because most of the acting is painful.
If blood and gore had more screen time, then this would have been a great horror flick. There were plenty of victims to bite the big one in creative ways, but the film seemingly gave up after the first two. It's like the filmmakers tricked you at the beginning just so you'd sit through the rest of it. I sat through this flick twice and halfway through forgot who everyone was and had to ponder, "What the fuck am I watching again?" That's always a bad sign. When the movie ends, it's impossible to shake that lingering blah feeling. Maybe the special features will save it?
Why are theatrical trailers considered special features? Was there nothing else that could have been added? How about a featurette about how watching this film will not give you herpes? That's special, and it is true! Just throw some nonsense out there! Ya dig?
Rent Superstition for the first 10 minutes, and after that return it. Or if you have clever (or drunken) friends, buy it and watch it on mute while dubbing your own lines. It worked for the people who made Kung Pow, didn't it?
2 1/2 out of 5