COVEN OF EVIL (2020)
Starring John Thacker, Laura Peterson, Samantha Moorhouse, Craig R. Mellor, Tracy Gabbitas, Micky Satiar, Jacob Kain Prescott, Laura Ellen Wilson, Brian Woodward, Jayne Buchanan, Ian Archdeacon, Alannah Marie, Vicki Glover, Graham Parrington, Steve Kilpatrick, Lee Glynn, Dominic Mcavish and Kristina Rekstyte.
Screenplay by Matthew J. Lawrence.
Directed by Matthew J. Lawrence.
Distributed by Macabre Pictures. 100 minutes. Not Rated.
So, what to say about Coven of Evil? It’s not really a very good or cutting-edge movie, but it’s not really trying to be one. It is a cheap and exploitative B-movie horror film. There is a place in the world for that. It has no real agenda other than scaring up some creeps for people who want an on-demand midnight thriller.
It’s not particularly bloody – mostly because it doesn’t appear to have had the budget for SFX – so it relies on the viewer’s imagination. The acting is hit or miss. Some of the actors are extremely good although over the top – Laura Peterson and Samantha Moorhouse in particular. Some are more earthbound – lead actor John Thacker doesn’t always quite seem to get a hold his character’s emotional path. Some are actively bad – I hate to come down on this guy because he only has a few lines, but one of the coven leaders in the prelude is particularly awkward.
However, there is an audience for this kind of entertainment: bloody horror with a touch of sex. Truthfully, most of the violent and erotic moments were implied more than shown. The filmmaking is very low budget and many of the effects are either off-screen or obviously fake. (For example, there are two different scenes where one of the men is supposedly spanking one of the women, and it is quite clear to anyone looking at all closely that he is bringing the belt down on the bed behind her. Not that any movie with this kind of shot wouldn’t do it that way, it just wouldn’t always be quite so noticeable.)
But okay, fine. Coven of Evil is a b-movie made to go directly to streaming or video, not a blockbuster. The expectations you bring to it have to be a bit lower than studio films, or even major indies.
So the big question is: “Will the audience enjoy it?” The answer, I’m afraid to say, is just maybe. It had some good moments and some real bad ones. However, like I said, there are people for whom this stuff will be catnip. I’m not exactly one of those, and I can’t exactly say I liked it, but I didn’t actively dislike it either. And I will be the first to acknowledge that I am not the movie’s target audience.
As you may have guessed by the title Coven of Evil is about witches and Satanists. Thacker plays Joe, a blogger who wrote a story about Wiccan sex rituals. He is approached by Evie, a funny and sexy coven member who calls him out for writing exploitative, provocative falsehoods. She invites him to a farmhouse deep in the British countryside to experience their rituals himself.
He meets the group, made up of a bunch of oddball misfits, who seem to use the rituals as an excuse to get high. But things don’t really seem to be adding up, and Joe is having some crazy dreams. And who is that gorgeous woman named Alice (Peterson) who seems to be held in her room, but not a member of the group?
Note: Although this film does state in the script that this is a group of Satanists masquerading as a Wiccan coven, apparently there is at least a small group of Wiccans who are offended by the portrayal, to the point where the writer/director had to post an explanation on IMDB saying they are not supposed to be Wiccans.
Honestly, I know very little about Satanism or Wiccanism (I don’t even know for sure if Wiccanism is a real word…). Therefore, I can’t comment on how realistic this film is – honestly it feels a bit far-fetched, but who knows?
Is it scary? Sometimes. Is it funny? Also, sometimes. Is it worth watching? If you like this kind of stuff, sure, why not?
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2020 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: September 14, 2020.