Witchboard

1986

Action / Horror / Mystery / Thriller

25
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 42%
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 4955

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Kathleen Wilhoite as Zarabeth
Tawny Kitaen as Linda Brewster
Rose Marie as Mrs. Moses
Todd Allen as Jim Morar
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
753.55 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 38 min
P/S 2 / 5
1.44 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 38 min
P/S 2 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by quridley 8 / 10

Very original and tasteful for an 80s horror film

80s horror films are remembered fondly for being fun and over-the-top, but most were fairly unoriginal, gratuitous and campy. Witchboard is special because its not a sequel or a ripoff of anything, isn't made for horny teens or punk rock sadists and it has a genuine interest in the scary subject matter - the occult. Director/writer Kevin S. Tenney would explore demonic possession with more fun and splatter with "Night of the Demons" years later on a bigger budget, but Witchboard is a good preface as its more believable, emotional and mature. I wish it was more exciting at parts but this is an independent horror film with limited means. Anyway its a good contribution to the horror genre for its time and it holds up better than many others.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 6 / 10

Low budget '80s horror is pretty effective at what it does

For a low-budget American possession flick with a no-name cast, WITCHBOARD is pretty good and a cut above the average teen genre fare of the '80s. This is due to the fact that instead of bombarding us with cheap gore effects (aside from a couple of clumsy ones), the film works at and actually succeeds in creating a spooky atmosphere of dread and foreboding. The storyline is an old and clich├ęd one (ever since THE EXORCIST really) yet is given a breath of fresh air by the young, talented cast and the involved direction of Kevin Tenney who works hard to keep things interesting, even if much of the film is slow-paced and lacking in incident.

The plot is very thin and seems stretched at an hour and a half. Basically, girl becomes possessed by evil spirit. Nobody believes it. People die. Friends investigate background of case. More people die. Good confronts evil in a violent battle. The end. You can guess the outcome from the start but WITCHBOARD works hard to keep things as unpredictable (as is possible for such a story) and twisty as can possibly be. The death scenes are done pretty unspectacularly on a low budget (unlike those in, say, SUPERSTITION), and consist of impalement, crushing, and a cheesy hatchet in the head. I'm grateful that the film doesn't have to rely on these to work.

Tawny Kitaen takes the lead role and has a gratuitous nude scene like most young horror actresses in '80s cheapies. Aside from her irritating hairstyle she isn't too bad and almost creates a believable transition from good into evil; she may be a Linda Blair imitator but let's face it, Linda Blair wasn't that great to begin with (however, the voice-over actress and special effects men WERE). Todd Allen is pretty good as the volatile, confused boyfriend who makes the hard change from sceptic to believer, while I also liked Stephen Nichols' performance as a stressed-out former boyfriend. The only other characters of the small cast are an irritating detective with a penchant for magic tricks and an irritating medium who thankfully dies quickly.

The climatic battle between good and evil is pretty suspenseful, although the whole project is nearly scuppered by a really bad back-projected scene of someone being pushed through a window. Pretty, yes, realistic, no. I liked WITCHBOARD for its atmosphere and change of pace, and the fact that it keeps the identity of the spirit hidden for much of the movie which adds a layer of mystery to the proceedings to give the film an extra boost. Two sequels followed in the early '90s; the first is a lesser rehash of this one which is good for a laugh, the second is by all accounts appalling.

Reviewed by Paul Magne Haakonsen 5 / 10

Adequately entertaining...

I didn't find this movie particularly scary. And it wasn't because it was from 1986. It simply was because there were no scary moments in the entire movie, and no surprises to the storyline either.

For a movie from the mid-Eighties then "Witchboard" was fairly mediocre and there were some more memorably and scary horror movies available from the Eighties.

I will say that the acting in "Witchboard" was good, and director Kevin Tenney did a fair job in directing the movie. There was a good build up moments in the movie, but unfortunately they just didn't end in anything thrilling, overly impressive or climatic.

The lack of scary moments in "Witchboard" is what ultimately caused it to land on a mediocre shelf. It is adequate for what it turned out to be, just don't expect anything groundbreaking or particularly scary.

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