April 14, 2015 Something Wicked (Movie Review)
While it was filmed in 2011, Merchant Film’s supernatural Horror movie Something Wicked was not released until its world premiere on April 4, 2014 in the United States, and as of March 17, 2015 is available on DVD as well as digital download. Filmed in Eugene, Oregon, this was the late Brittany Murphy’s last movie and proves to be somewhat prophetic in many ways. Set in present day, Something Wicked was written and produced by Joe Colleran (The American Gandhi 2014) and directed by Darin Scott (American Horror House 2012, House Party: Tonight’s the Night 2013). The visual effects were created by James Chick (Grimm TV series, Crackin’ the Code 2009) and Hari Ghadia (No Choice 1990, The American Gandhi 2014) with cinematography by Thomas L. Callaway (A Perfect Christmas List 2014, Megachurch Murder 2015) and music composed by Kyle Newmaster (The Shiftling 2008, Frozen 2010).
Something Wicked focuses on Christine (Shantel VanSanten: Gang Related TV series, The Night Shift TV series), a recent high school graduate who plans to go to college and marry her sweetheart, James (John Robinson: She’s Funny that Way 2014, The Alcoholist 2015). Her parents, Ellen (Betty Moyer: Portlandia TV series, Lovechild 2015) and Doug (Lance Rosen: Frank vs. God 2014, The Devil Walks in Salem 2014), think she should concentrate on school and wait to get married. After a dinner, the foursome’s car stalls on a railroad track as a train barrels down on them, killing both Ellen and Doug.
Still quite young, Christine moves in with her older, police officer brother, Bill (James Patrick Stewart: 2 Broke Girls TV series, Blaze and the Monster Machines TV series), and his child psychiatrist wife Susan (Brittany Murphy: Clueless 1995, Girl, Interrupted 1999). Susan has also been counselling James’s boss, John Anderson (Robert Blanche: You Can’t Win 2015, The Two Dogs 2015), regarding his own troubled son, Ryan (Julian Morris: New Girl TV series, Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse 2015) and the affect his behavior is having on his young sister, Zeal (Angelique Perrin debut). A year has gone by. James proposes to Christine and college is going great. Dealing with her grief each day as well as she can, everything seems to be going well in Christine’s life until she believes she is being followed, with events like being harassed at the local pool by an unseen clothes thief and a masked figure watching her from outside that set Christine’s head spinning. She calls James, but hears his phone ring in a nearby room. After she sees a strange message written on her windshield, she drives home half naked and scared, only to find James waiting for her there with the excuse that his phone had been stolen days before. Bill has never liked James and does not hesitate to throw him out of the house, instantly suspecting him of causing trouble with his niece. It is not until Christine realizes her engagement ring is lost (or stolen) that things begin to spin wildly out of control. Are Ryan’s psychotic episodes somehow linked to Christine’s parents’ death? Is James an innocent party or is he trying to drive Christine crazy? Dark secrets threaten to be exposed. Who will be left to face the horrible truth?
Scene by scene, Something Wicked takes surprising turns and builds in tension until the climatic ending. Excellent visual effects and cinematography help maintain a creepy atmosphere throughout the film. The action is constant, the acting crisp and the storyline is tight. Based on a true story, events that happen to Brittany Murphy’s character may resonate heavily with some viewers due to the coincidences in Murphy’s own death. Troubling as it may be, this film is a must watch. CrypticRock scores Something Wicked 5 out of 5.