Witchouse (1999)


Directed by: David DeCoteau

Written by: Matthew Jason Walsh


Matt Raftery .... Jack
Monica Serene Garnich .... Jennifer
Ashley McKinney .... Elizabeth
Brooke Allen .... Janet (as Brooke Mueller)
Dave Oren Ward .... Tony
Marissa Tait .... Maria
Dane Northcutt .... Scott
Ariauna Albright .... Lilith

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: 1999




It is Mayday 1998 in the town of Dunwich, Massachussettes where there's a mansion which people claim is cursed by an evil witch named Lilith (Ariauna Albright) centuries ago who was burned alive at the stake. Now the mansion is owned by a young lady named Elizabeth (Ashley McKinney) who invites a certain group of friends to resurrect Lilith which is Elizabeth's ancestor. At first, Elizabeth makes out that it's is just a typical party and are doing a chant for fun but one them them dreams of being burned at the stake where Lilith once was. Suddenly Lilith is resurrected and turns Elizabeth's guests into her demonic victims.


The film seems to have a nice cheesy beginning revealing two people entering a mansion with thunder and lightning happening as well as a fair focus on them discussing things. Plus there's the typical situation on them about to strip down and get it on with each other since this is common for a DeCoteau flick but not revealing alot of skin. Then it looked impressive when we spot a dark figure walking towards them with glowing eyes adding a nice low budget horror touch to the story.
Neat cheesy firey computerised effects when we spot the opening credits for the film which should please any horror fan who enjoys these made for video flicks.
Things seem to flow okay with the friends staying at the mansion as well as this looking well focused but every 5 seconds we constantly hear the crashing of thunder and lightning which sounds totally fake and incredibly annoying. I mean a storm doesn't happen all this often.
There's even a good mysterious situation with the host Elizabeth introducing herself which comes across cheesily fun as it seems to start off entertaining by what is happening here. Plus she has an innocent looking friend of her's named Jennifer as this looked rather amusing when she shows off a nice bubbly attitude. Plus we spot them doing a cememony as things seems good and still while this is happening even if it doesn't seem dark enough while watching all of this.
A great hallucination sequence involving one of the friends about to be burned alive at a stake as this looke dpretty powerful to watch along with neat effects on other people tied up and their heads spinning. Certainly shows a nice possessive moment which is a nice twist to the story.
There's some nice sharp discussions between Jennifer and Jack when they discuss about witches which really blends in perfectly especially when they find a book on necromonicon. Plus there's scene's with the character Scott nervously looking around the mansion where there's perfect dark moments on the candles and other creepy things. Plus a good moment when Jennifer finally summons up Lilith in which this time looked fairly dark but still in a slightly cheesy low budget fashion. Hey this is what makes it a fun party flick. Things really pack a punch when Lilith creepily walks up towards him and brings out her hand to him as this leaves a nice creepy impression that something isn't going to be pretty at all. Plus great make up effects on her looking totally demonic.
More neat stuff when we spot Scott later on as a born again type of monster as well as him approaching his girlfriend and ready to attack her which adds some good energy into this scene.
In the film there's a great moment with Lilith in the air using her powers to kill one of the character's as this looked really neat to watch and then trying to attack Janet with her getting tough and punching her in the head along with locking this witch in the closet as you don't often spot this situation too much while someone normal is kicking ss on a powerful force. This was another great fun touch here.
There's a nice focus during Jennifer and Jack while we keep watching with a nice romantic situation looking very believeable with what they are doing.
Some terrific adventureous and adrenalised moments with Jennifer, Jack and Janet discussing on how to escpae from the mansion and what to do but yet alot of the camera shots tilt back and fourth which can make you a bit dizzy while watching this. Just some bad takes here. There's some nice approaches by their friends that are now these demonic types and ready to attack them in the darkness of the hallways which is always impressive in a horror flick.
Plus there's a nice camera shot looking up on Janet with cheesy looking fire effects as we spot what she has tunred into. Nice powerful struggling moments here along with more neat cheesy special effects on some powers shooting out and Jack using a mirror to bounce this magic off and strike back.
We also spot some great vengeful situations with Jack and Janet against both Lilith and Jennifer for what they're going to do with the necronomicon book as this was also impressive watch all of this and what is going on here.
Bottom line is that it is not a terrible film like you'd expect it to be especially while spotting the beginning of this with a few descent effects but this flick can easily be considered a Night of the Demons ripoff. But this one has no Halloween feel to it. Yes, there's jack o lanterns and other stuff like that but you'll all know this was not set for Halloween. It picks up and becomes fun and interesting but and it was a simple story without it being too long. I quite enjoyed it and it is one of my favourite flicks by DeCoteau even if he credited himself as Jack Reed. It's also a Full Moon Pictures production in which I get a kick out of most of their flicks. If you're into cheesy low grade made for TV type budget of a film try it out if not skip it. Followed by two sequels.

The acting starts off terrible and very low on energy making it not very believeable but later on the acting gets a little better but not a whole lot.
Matt Rafferty (Jack) seemed to show a nice charming type of personality and seemed to really get into his part esepcially when he tries to be romantic. However whenever he acts anxious he is a bit over the top at times. Still he shows some nice enthusiasm into whatever he does and at times has a decent aggression to his role whenever he is struggling against the terrors or acting vengeful. He has the nice guy next door clean cut looks which is a bonus to his role and shows this off nicely onto the camera.
Monica Serene Garnich
(Jennifer) seems to show it off nicely as the mysterious owner of the mansion as she comes off with a nice wicked charm to her role and speaking smoothly and clearly too which helps her role a good deal. However she doesn't always have you convinced with her darklike attitude like she tries to. She wasn't terrible by any means. She had the decent looks which was okay too. Sometimes when she tries to act evil near the end of her performance it didn't look convincing enough.
Ashley McKinney
(Elizabeth) stole the film within her performance here as she had the looks like she was a geeky type of teen but yet shows it off terrifically with her bubbly attitude and nice spunk. She was jumping into action a great deal and getting into her role a great deal. She comes across as one of those fun and loving types which was very believeable here. Plus shows off alot of energy while struggling against the terrors that unravel near her. She studied this part incredibly well as you could tell here.
Brooke Allen (Janet) was another fine actress in which she played a tough as nails rocker chick as her looks were so perfect and had a good hairstyle too for this. She showed off a nice butchness to her part along with doing great by acting cocky and blunt with her speaking and having a gruff type of voice too. All of this came together. Plus she was great by acting anxious on trying to find a way on escaping with the others adding some terrific adrenaline here. Two thumbs up for her as she lived to portray this role.
Dave Oren Ward
(Tony) seemed to pull his part off in an okay fashion as a party goer who likes to smoke up but doesn't seems overly convincing as a potheaded type. Yet he shows off his macho type of attitude not too badly here as well as having a good masculine look to his appeal. His acting is just on the average side. Sadly he was killed during post production of this flick and was dedicated to him.
Marissa Tait
(Maria) seemed to pull off a great insecure type of attitude as well as coming across as believeably stuck up in her part. She certainly reminds you as one of those types that you don't want to upset as well as showing a nice hype to her speaking coming across as perfectly annoying too. She pulls off a nice character into her role here. Also had a perfect adrenalised high pitch screaming when the terror strikes her as this was perfect to spot.
Ariauna Albright (Lilith) was very smooth and slick in her role as a demonic witch even if her face was covered in monstrous make up and her voice was overdubbed to sound demonic but she showed a perfect presence into all of this and came a cult icon in the b-horror film industry sue to her part in this one. She was smooth with her blocking too as well as acting perfectly forceful too.

Lilith rips her face off in a dream sequence.
She also tears off a victims head later on in the movie and his head is discovered by other partygoers.

The music by Jared DePasquale was cheesy sounding but otherwise enjoyable for a film like this. There's alot of deep piano playing along with powerful adventureous drumbeats and pounding as well as hearing some tambourine playing which sounded cheesily fun especially during the opening and closing credits of the film. There's alot of great strong classical orcherstral music involving violins and trombone playing too as this sounded very professional. It was very clear sounding too. Plus we hear some nice peaceful piano playing as well especially for the odd romantic sequences which shows some decent timing.