Here’s a brief overview of everything that happens in the first 40-minutes of The Candy Witch: the titular witch kills a person; the family haunted by the ghostly apparition hires a paranormal investigator; the investigator’s assistant discusses who the vengeful ghost is and what she might want; the audience is told that the investigator’s dad could also see ghosts. If you think that those events don’t seem to amount to much, you are not wrong. Director Rebecca Matthews‘s sophomore feature is a more entertaining experience than her first foray into feature-length horror, but it struggles to find a pace, and certain story beats create a few plot issues (not holes per se, but just logical lapses).
Reece (Jon Callaway) is called to Cronehill Farm to investigate strange occurrences befalling matriarch Ruth (Heather Jackson) and her children, Tom (Will Stanton) and Lea (Hannah Ponting). When Reece and his girlfriend Kat (Abi Casson Thompson), who works as an assistant on his cases, arrive, they are instantly told who the ghost is. Jennifer Harper (Kate Lush) was the family’s nanny, and she loved children by all accounts. But, when Tom tells his mom that the nanny was abusing his sister and himself, Ruth takes matters into her own hands and tells Jennifer.
“The nanny, out for vengeance, has come back as a spectral entity, killing those involved in her death…”
The nanny, out for vengeance, has come back as a spectral entity, killing those involved in her death via candy canes and boiling chocolate. However, dark secrets surround the family and the real reason the nanny was murdered. Can Reece uncover these secrets in time to save Kat and himself? Why didn’t Ruth go to law enforcement with what Tom told her?
The Candy Witch is a brilliant 45-minute film overstuffed to slightly above 90. Reece feeling trapped by his dad’s legacy perfectly encapsulates writer Scott Jeffrey’s almost impressive characterizations. See, all the ideas and frameworks are there and offer potentially compelling people to spend time with. But, the screenplay never fully explores their backstories, or how their past informs their present-day actions. See, Reece and his dad sharing this ability to see and speak to the dead is brought up in the beginning. His wariness never factors into how he approaches this most challenging case.
"…death via candy canes and boiling chocolate."