By Dave B.
In Pyewacket (2018, currently on Hulu), teenage Leah has become obsessed with the occult after the death of her father. Her mother, unable to bear living in the home that they shared, tells Leah that they will be moving to a new town in a month. Leah is understandably distraught, leading to an argument with her mother in which her remaining parent says some truly horrible and unforgivable things. Overcome with pain, grief and rage, Leah uses her knowledge of the dark arts to put a death curse on her mother. Despite immediately regretting her actions, the damage is done. Will Leah be able to face her ill-considered deed? Or will the evil she unleashed consume her and everyone she loves?
In many ways, Pyewacket is a fairly standard “be careful what you wish for” horror story. It also happens to be an extremely slow burn. It’s fairly short at 88 minutes, but it takes over 20 minutes for the story to become remotely interesting. Once it does gets unstuck from it’s setup however, Pyewacket becomes a well-executed tale about the psychological consequences of living with guilt. It’s short on traditional scares, but is infused with a basic, psychological dread that grabs and holds attention.
Pyewacket isn’t a great horror film, but it touches a chord in the human psyche that many modern horror films often ignore. Despite it’s glacial pace, I recommend this film: it proves itself to be thoughtful by recognizing that the most frightening things often aren’t external threats, but internal crises; it avoids traditional clichés of protagonist vs. antagonist; and it skillfully builds tension and intensity. Even if you aren’t a horror fan, you may want to give this movie a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised and it’ll definitely give you some things to think about.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.