Written/Directed by: Jason Bognacki
Cast: Paulie Rojas, Maria Olsen, Nancy Wolf, Michael Rappaport, Lillian Pennypacker, David Landry, Sophia Jade, Leone Sergio Bognacki, Robert Grigorian, Aaron Mitchell, Chris Mammone, Aline Bognacki.
“When Jordyn celebrates her eighteenth birthday, she quickly discovers she should have been more careful with what she wished for. She always thought she was an orphan, raised by her aunt who ruins Jordyn’s birthday celebration by screaming at the top of her lungs and plunging a cake knife into her chest. But her aunt’s attempted suicide is only the beginning – soon, Jordyn realizes she is being pursued by a malevolent supernatural force, a hideous witch who follows Jordyn everywhere she goes and is poised to initiate Jordyn into some truly twisted occult secrets. Jordyn has always wondered where she came from, but is she really prepared to discover what that is?”
First quote: “It is time!” (Well, wasn’t expecting that off the top.)
Second quote: “We’re roommates; we share things.” (Hahahaaaah. I did laugh at that.)
It’s a weird, creepy mess with you kind of film. Very artistically crafted, lots of subtle visual plays. Atmospheric, creepy and surreal; an off kilter journey through a fragmented mind trying to piece together patterns of chaos that were not intended to join smoothly.
This movie will not be for everyone, as I believe a part of the point was to be a bit more artistic in execution, which is not the same as just telling a story. It’s not just pretty, it’s got layers of interpretation between and within scenes that develop more as you think about it. You need to look at the clues within the frames, to see more of what the game is about.
The movie begins nice and creepy: a set piece of cultists about to perform the obligatory human baby sacrifice; but, of course, something goes amiss. What good is a story, if there’s not a mess to be made of the path to be taken? We then move to how Jordyn finds out that she’s special, as her Aunt who has taken care of her throughout these past eighteen years is kooky, and, oh, yeah, just stabbed herself in the gut at the dinner table. Hey, left field, here we come!
What follows is a strange trip for Jordyn; turning eighteen and finding out she’s a witch, the daughter of a witch; from a long line of witches. Through cuts and well crafted scenes with varying perspectives, Jordyn tries to come to grips with the messed up mixed out trip that her life has become. Bits and pieces of what is happening to her comes out, from her Aunt, from the Witch that lurks just beyond the grasp of the pale, from seeing what her friends are truly become while she continues to fall even further down the spiral of the twisted relationship she shares with the Witch.
The Doppelgänger motif of transposition is an interesting tactic to the story, as the “Witch” is slowly devouring the parts of her soul, by having Jordyn’s alt entity slowly become more depraved and disturbing. Each push in the downward direction, brings Jordyn even farther down that path. That motif shows up in a number of classical myths and fairy tales, and I like how it has been blended into the story here.
I also liked the “little wiggly demon things” that both of the Witches used to transfer their selves into their new hosts. Quick little scene bits, but they also made me giggle, because it was just a big, what? That was rather neat.
The mirror scene was cool. We see Jordyn, and we see evil Jordyn and we see Jordyn, but which Jordyn is which and which is the Witch? It’s all part of the downfall of the mind that she is confronted with. Minds, such playful things, such toys that we to the dark sing and are sung from.
Still trying to figure out what the clown dolls were for in the one scene; they were particularly trippy and creepy looking. Apropos for a scene bump slash jar ya into seeing something else; so, it worked perfectly (but I still want to know if there was supposed to be a deeper meaning associated to them being there. Coulrophobia anyone?)
Maria Olsen plays a great wacky, weird, what the hell is she doing vicious Witch. Paulie Rojas projects the epitome of a pleasant young lady innocent and trying to find balance in a messed up world. Nancy Wolf does a wonderful job as the doting and concerned, but distracted by evil, Aunt.
Morale of the story? Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
And, of course: No happy endings for you!
Epic Picture’s Press Release:
“On 6/6/16 Epic Pictures will release their acclaimed new horror film MARK OF THE WITCH on a digital platform near you!
Labeled by Paranormal Underground Magazine as “one of the most beautiful films about witchcraft ever seen,” MARK OF THE WITCH follows Jordyn, a beautiful young woman who is driven into a dark underworld of demonic possession, desire, and extreme indulgences when she learns she may be the devil’s daughter.
The film was included in the official selection of over 15 film festivals worldwide, and awarded Best Cinematography at Fight Night Film Fest 2014 and Best Editing in Action at the Film International Film Festival 2014.
Director Jason Bognacki, genre film favorite Maria Olsen (Paranormal Activity 3, Starry Eyes and Meir Zarchi’s I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu) and rising star Paulie Rojas (Down and Dangerous, The Last Resort).”
The platforms on which the film will be released: Dish, SlingTV, DirectTV, Vubiquity (Verizon), Amazon, Vudu, Xbox, Itunes, Flixfling, Google Play, Vimeo, Comcast (est)