A Haunting In Cawdow (Review 2015)

Author: Laura Cosheril 

This film is described as a “tense tale of psychological terror”. Don’t let this tag line fool you, it seems that whoever came up with this tagline had never watched the film.

Starting off I was completely unimpressed by the cinematography. Now, I know this is very much an indie film and this can be expected sometimes but it had the feel of someone who filmed this movie for a high school film class. Not exactly what you expect from a film that has a large enough budget to be released. The opening scene opens up a lot of questions; “is this girl high or just insane?”. We quickly find out that Vivian (Shelby Young) is part of a young offenders scheme and is going to a barn which acts as a theatre. From there begins a downward spiral when the play that is decided the kids are going to act out is the infamous Macbeth.

The acting in this film leaves a lot to be desired; the most infuriating of all coming from Shelby Young. I find that Shelby overplayed the broken part of Vivian. She would constantly push her hair behind her ears when she was to act upset or nervous. Not that this is a bad thing but when that’s the only way you can portray your characters emotions then it’s time to head back off to acting school. One of the best performances of the movie, in my opinion, came from Cary Elwes (Lawrence). He played the maniacal theatre owner magnificently and even though we’re not all that sure if he is bad or good most of the time, he is one of the most likeable characters in the entire movie (aside from Charlie King). Aside from these two characters it is extremely hard to connect with any of the characters. The development is little to none and lacks any form of emotional connection or depth.

It is worth it to mention that this film is LONG. At just over an hour and a half you’re probably thinking to yourself “that’s the normal length of a film”. Wrong. Good films don’t leave the viewer feeling bored, which this film does. As I said this film is around 100 minutes long, around 80 of those minutes are spent on build-up and the remainder actually spent on the climax. It left me feeling insanely frustrated as Wurtzel had the tools and means to do so much more with this film yet chose not to which left the ending feeling rushed and poorly thought out and leaves a lot of questions with the viewer.

All in all this film is not great. On the surface it seems like a new take on the Macbeth franchise which comes at a great time with the recently released remake of Macbeth, Wurtzel had the potential to go big with this. A HAUNTING IN CAWDOR is one big disappointment and I can’t believe a director can fail as much as Wurtzel managed to with this release.

Rating  1/5

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