dir. Pierre Tsigaridis
Matriarchal power and ancestral inheritance drive the titular Two Witches in this violent and often hilarious feature debut from Pierre Tsigaridis. Told in several chapters and an epilogue, the lore here is captivating, with imagery that delights and a story that, whilst at times a bit disjointed, ultimately pleases with its boundary violating risks.
Developing its own witchy mythos, the first segment – entitled “The Boogeywoman” – introduces Sarah (Belle Adams), a pregnant woman who is cursed with terrifying dreams and a looming dread after encountering an eerie old woman on a night out. This segment vacillates between being darkly cruel and comically over the top as Sarah and her boyfriend Simon (Ian Michaels) travel to their friend’s house for the weekend. After experimenting with a Ouija board, the group experience the terror of the witch and her influence on Sarah, isolating the friends from one another and ultimately proving that Sarah’s paranoia was an instinct she should have listened to. What follows is a nightmare of epic proportions, as hallucinations build to fever pitch, resulting in a bloody fight and tragic disappearance.
What comes next is the shining segment of the film, featuring a star-making turn by actor Rebekah Kennedy as Masha, an awkward and ultimately dangerous woman who becomes obsessed with her roommate Rachel (Kristina Klebe, one of the writers here). It’s revealed early on that Masha is the sexually deviant descendent of The Boogeywoman, whose powers grow as her grandmother nears death. Masha’s sweet face contradicts her aggressive behaviour, and although Rachel attempts to make her feel comfortable after what she believes is an assault, it’s her empathy that ultimately is her undoing as Masha begins to envy everything Rachel has, wanting it all for herself.
What Two Witches lacks in narrative clarity it more than makes up for in good old-fashioned enjoyment. As the wheels come off and Masha hurtles towards her destiny as the next witch in her lineage, the movie delivers a bundle of wicked fun and a shocking scene in the Epilogue that will surely be talked about over the festival watercooler.