Scary children, a scary lady in the woods, a scary…goat – The Witch is one of the best contemporary horror films for some time and will definitely give you the creeps. A Puritan family are banished from a plantation in 17th century New England. They set up a farm, complete with the goat from hell, and one day their newborn baby/sibling disappears. A bad thing in the woods likes to do bad things to babies. Unfortunately peril also comes to the other children, including Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) who falls prey to some ‘orrid witchcraft. It’s an outstanding performance from this young actor and absolutely terrifying.
Part 2 of Dario Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy, Inferno has some standout, influential scenes and is bathed in the usual colours of red, blue and black that are staple in his seminal films. There’s also the trademark ‘complex mystery, bathed in blood’ as a brother – Mark (Leigh McCloskey) – searches for his sister, Rose (Irene Miracle), who has vanished from her apartment in New York City. There’s witchcraft..there’s a spooky building…beautifully staged brutal murders…and a marvellous cat.
One of the biggest jumps is in a wonderful underwater sequence where Rose discovers a water-filled ballroom in her building – of course – and accidentally drops her keys into it, so she has to swim down…whilst a body floats up.
An effective and original chiller, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is about a mystery body that turns up in a murder house and baffles father and son coroners Tommy (Brian Cox) and Austin (Emile Hirsch) as they struggle to determine the cause of death. When a violent storm starts and a radio takes on a life of its own, playing songs about the Devil, they realise that this may be an extraordinary corpse.
It’s got the gore of the autopsy – performed real-time – which reveals more and more strange horrors and clues about Jane’s demise. Add into that the sinister supernatural undertones and you’ll be jumping as to what’s coming next.
Cox is excellent as the main lead, and gels well with the innocent Hirsch. The last Act is slightly confusing – as to what Jane is and what her motivations are – but don’t let this distract from a great little horror film that is one to draw the curtains and turn off the lights to.
Kudos must also go to Olwen Kelly who plays the Jane Doe, when most of her performance is being laid out on a slab. Despite not doing very much indeed, she has a formidable presence throughout and is damnnnnnn scary.
GORE RATING: 5/5
Watch it for: When ‘Jane’s’ powers truly come to light. Breaking the lights
Watch out for: The ring of the toe bell