The Witch in the Window review: Flipping houses has never been so sinister as in this chilling tale.
The Witch in the Window review by Kat Hughes.
Simon (Alex Draper) returns home to collect his son Finn (Charlie Tacker) from his ex-wife who has reached the end of her tether. Simon’s ‘punishment’ for his son is to help him in his latest house-flipping venture. As the pair reconnect, they start to realise that something isn’t quite right with the house and that there might be something in the local folklore about the witch in the window.
The core of this film relies on the relationship between our two leads and thankfully both Draper and Tacker are both perfectly cast. The dynamic between the two of them is brilliant and, to the untrained eye, could so easily be mistaken for actual father and son. They have such an easy chemistry which makes writer / director Andy Mitton’s script feel almost improvised. The script is breezy and real feeling; little remarks like Simon’s ‘I wanted to get you the twelve side of twelve, not the thirteen side of twelve’ just ring true. Anyone who has encountered a child at this age (or watched the Harry Enfield ‘Kevin the Teenager’ sketch) will relate to it instantly.
After building up this easy-going, back and forth banter between father and son, Mitton then pulls the rug from under the audience’s feet with a truly dramatic jump scare. From here on, the plot gets weird and a sinister tone creeps in. Thing’s get mighty unsettling, but with such a short run-time The Witch in the Window never quite reaches the level of blood-curdling terror that it could.
The father-son bond is tested in this nifty little ghost story, were it to be a tad longer and draw out the suspense more, it could be something really spectacular. As it stands though, The Witch in the Window is a valiant stab at injecting new life into an old and familiar tale.
The Witch in the Window review by Kat Hughes, July 2018.
The Witch in the Window screened as part of the Fantasia International Film Festival 2018 line-up. It will also screen in August as part of Arrow Video Frightfest 2018 in London.