October 28, 2016 Cherry Tree (Movie Review)
Debuting in 2015 at the Frightfest Horror Film Festival in London, England, Cherry Tree is a coming of age Witch Thriller about to put Ireland on the Horror map. Released on April 5, 2016 via Dark Sky Films in the USA, the film stars Naomi Battrick (Blood 2012, Una Noche 2012), Patrick Gibson (What Richard Did 2012, The Passing Bells 2014), Sam Hazeldine (The Raven 2012, The Monuments Men 2014), and Anna Walton (Hellboy II: The Golden Army 2008, Soulmate 2013). Filmed in Ireland, directed by David Keating (The Last of the High Kings 1996, Wake Wood 2009), and written by Brendan McCarthy (Breakfast on Pluto 2005, The Last Days on Mars 2013), together they guarantee to offer eighty-five minutes of pure Horror.
The story revolves around Faith (Battrick), who seems to have a life like any other teenager has with good friends and family. Unfortunately, her father, Sean (Hazeldine), is given the news that he has only three months to live, and this news crushes Faith’s world tragically. Not knowing what to do, Faith meets a woman named Sissy (Walton) who promises her that she can completely cure her father from his leukemia if she helps her with a problem she has as quid-pro-quo. The favor is for Faith to get pregnant with a child and deliver it to Sissy; being a virgin, Faith makes the best vessel. Reluctantly and out of options, Faith agrees and takes her current crush, Brian (Gibson), to her bedroom where they have sex and reproduce.
Faith begins to question her decision to bring to life a baby when Brian disappears and her pregnancy is growing at an accelerated rate. What should take months is only taking weeks and the baby will be born soon after. The baby is finally born and Faith enlists help from her friends and family only to discover that most of the people surrounding her are accomplices of Sissy and the baby is taken from Faith’s arms. Sacrifices are made and the reasons that drove Faith to take the decision may not matter any longer, which means all bets are off. There is an eerie correlation between an infamous cherry tree and Satan, and Faith may have sealed her fate between those two variables.
With an overall lack of good quality Horror films lately, Cherry Tree brings one of the most iconic Horror figures to life; Witches. Rarely do filmmakers do things that are out of this world when it comes to combining Horror and Witches, but this movie surrounded itself with perfect direction. From beginning to end, Cherry Tree gives the audience full mystery and action, providing variations of styles leading up to a transitional ending. Although Cherry Tree does not conclude with the ending that everyone expects, it definitely does not disappoint because it gives the illusion that a sequel may be possible. Irish productions do not often receive the praise they deserve, but with the help of amazing cinematography, Cherry Tree should open more eyes around the world. CrypticRock gives Cherry Tree 4 out of 5 stars.