BAD WITCH (2021)
Directed by Victor Fink, Joshua Land.
Written by James Hennigan..
Starring Chris Kozlowski, Jackson Trent, Clare Lefebure, Jonathan Helwig, James Hennigan, Abe Kim, Dom DiMercurio, Anna Fagan, Matthew Sharpe, Andrew Zibritosky, Stephanie Giancola, Daniel Braswell, Clayton Stocker Myers, Michael Sigler, Chase Graham, Richard Siegelman, Ty Gentner, Dallas White, Hannah Fogler, Clark Furlong, Ben Loeh, Martin Lopez, Jonathan Sienkiewicz, Treava
Chris Kozlowski plays Xander, who isn’t a wizard or a warlock, but a witch. And he’s pretty bad at being one as he uses his powers to benefit himself and manipulate others. After he is beaten up and cast out of town, he ends up shacking up with a pal and getting a job as a dish washer in a diner. That’s were he meets Roland (Jackson Trent) a down on his luck, nerdy teen who can’t catch a break. Attempting to turn over a new leaf, Xander decides to teach Roland witchcraft so he can get some retribution against his bullies. Wackiness ensues.
BAD WITCH is an off-kilter but semi harmless film where one minute it is getting into sitcom antics and the next, sheer horror happens. The film pretty much follows the tried and true blueprint of all comedy films where the protagonist needs to redeem himself, so he takes on an altruistic challenge, cue montage of good and goofy deeds occurring, cue a third act misunderstanding that gets resolved quickly before it all wraps up. The problem is that interspersed between these story beats are some disturbing moments where Xander gets beaten up and has “WITCH” carved into his chest and he’s using his powers to manipulate women in bars into sleeping with him. The tone is all over the place, mostly delivering harmless humor, pratfalls, sight gags, and kooky situations, peppered with some pretty violent and disturbing occurrences. It’s uneven, for sure, but mildly entertained at the unevenness of it all.
Chris Kozlowski is a likable actor and has leading man good looks and attitude. He’s definitely someone who will have a career in the biz. And Jackson Trent has a nebbish Peter Parker, mild-mannered, nerd quality that shows he’s got some promise. No one is winning Oscars in this low budget production, but the rest of the cast deliver the lines fairly well.
This odd little production is a hard one to categorize as it might be too light and sitcom-y for adults and has moments of horror, violence, and sex that would disturb kids. This might be a decent gateway horror for older teens as it definitely wants to give off a vibe of basassedness given the moments of horror and that bad poster. BAD WITCH made me chuckle a time or two and ends up being harmless despite some moments of horror seemingly out of the blue.