Starring Emily Johnson-Erday, Reanna Roanne, Patrick Ferrara
Directed by Ken Comito, Melanie Comito, Vickie King, Josh Speigel
I’ve always been a sucker for a good horror anthology, and when done properly with creepy stories that contain decent twists smattered with an ample supply of gore, I’m willing to take the leap and forgive (at times) the shoddy acting, forgettable segments, and otherwise detrimental ingredients that can bring the entire production down to that unique turd-like level. Unfortunately, with the material contained within Witching Hour, the latter half of my “willing to suffer through” list wins out, and the viewer is left with an uninspired mess of something that it desperately wishes to be: a winning formula.
Back-braced by the wrap-around story of a haunted clock bought by a couple of women from a seedy antiques dealer (the clock plays a part in all of the features, with riveting commentary, by the way), the first story jumps into the dysfunctional lives of an old married couple: a wife who still laments the loss of her daughter, all the while contending with a malcontented douche of a husband – this one simply had NO purpose in this collection of stories – a complete bore. Tale #2- “Misfortune” (aptly titled) is about a man named Alex who hesitantly opts to have his palm read by a fortune teller. It turns out that Madame Maxine is about to have her fate flipped – the only forecast that could have been predicted here was “time lost, with no hope of getting it back.”
The third yawn-inducing yarn was “The Birthday Present,” starring The Walking Dead’s favorite little zombie in bunny slippers, Addy Miller. She plays a young schoolgirl who spends her special day on the run from a creepy, balloon-toting clown. Interesting swerve on this one, yet not quite enough to hold the film’s head above water just yet. As I stumbled towards the fourth short: “The Rules of Being Dead,” a guideline-spurting lesson about what the dead can (or cannot) do in terms of interaction with living souls. I’d honestly hoped that one of my long-departed relatives would have sent me a message from the great beyond and pressed the stop button…all I can say is, DAMN.
As these small implements of ocular-torture were doled out, the wrap story continued with the dissolution of friendship between our two clock-owners – could it be the demented timepiece that’s causing so much pain and stress? I know it was for me! Next up on the slab was a patient suffering from nyctophobia (fear of the dark), and his reasoning for the safe embrace of the light in a long, drawn out therapy session with his psychiatrist. Turns out that the only thing in the dark here was the acting, and I’m not fully sure if the fear of the dark was conquered, but I sure got over my insomnia with this one.
As my neck began to ache from the clock watching (bad pun) – the final story unfolded in front of me: a man who is under an intense deadline to finish a script for his next movie opts to sell his soul in order for its quick completion. Hell, I was damn near close to selling mine for this to get over with as little suffering as possible. Look, I’ll offer up the biggest applause to anyone that chooses to go the indie-route when it comes to filmmaking, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve got to enjoy the end product. All in all, this clock is better served collecting dust on a shelf, far away from prying eyes.