Superstition

Superstition ★★★½

An unusual, but rather enjoyable no-nonsense and wicked low-budget cursed haunted house/witch feature. A Reverend and his family move into a strange, remote house with a horrific past. Mysterious occurrences begin to happen and people within the property start dying or disappearing to only end up dead.

The plot is quite slight, with a premise relatively basic… revenge from beyond the grave; A drowned witch who reappears in demon form hidden under a cloak with glimpses of her long green hands and evil laughter to go with it. Its set-pieces are there for nothing more than atmospheric shock effects (gory, but creative and insane deaths), but director James W. Roberson effectively handles them and suitably paces the narrative with a dark, nervy energy. 

It plays out like a haunted house ride… false jumps to only pump out the real one within its predictable superstitious framework (like the all mighty cross; the torment of all evil and good for exploding doors). Also there's a real nasty streak, which doesn't hold back for anyone and this makes the downbeat ending even more fulfilling. There's a real italian horror vibe to it all. The imagery is well-photographed (especially of the witch) and the score does pack that an ominous sting that crackles with intensity. Characters are one-dimensional, but the cast are committed with James Houghton, Larry Pennell, Lynn Carlin and Albert Salmi as a stubborn, hard-pressed detective.

I thought it was silly, but lively and unpleasant 1980s horror pulp that doesn't outstay its welcome. Fans of 80s horror overabundance should love.

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