Amendment XI : No person may practice Witchcraft in the United States of America.
In present day America, female witches are publicly burned at the stake and considered a danger to the American way. Martha Goode (Elizabeth Mitchell) runs an underground railroad for witches in her house, through a system of signals she provides food and shelter until they can get safe passage to Mexico. Her daughter, Claire (Gideon Adlon) thinks her mother is crazy for harboring freaks.
Once two sister witches show up (Abigail Cowen & Echo Campbell) Claire starts noticing strange things happening. With the government sneaking around trying to uphold the law and nosy neighbors with nothing better to do than make themselves feel better by reporting “illegal” activities, Claire will learn about the moral grey area’s that come with how people perceive those who are different.
Fear motivates people to act out without logical thinking. In this world, witches are not only powerful beings but pose a threat to the natural way of life (sound familiar?). Prosecuted for just existing, judged without reason, and murdered to maintain the status quo, women are victimized for no reason other than men fear their power.
Writer/director Elle Callahan directs a stellar cast of women in this film, however the plot feels like it was an aborted spec for a Charmed/The Craft reboot that is slow moving and could of done more to build a world in which witches are treated the same way our (American) government treats undocumented people. Ominous with tone, subtle but affective special effects and strong performances from its leads makes this feel more like the pilot of something pretty great.
Review – Witch Hunt
Reviewed online (screener provided by Signature Entertainment), July 9, 2021. Rating: MA15+. Running time: 98 min.
PRODUCTION: (UK) A Signature Entertainment release of a Defiant Studios & Kodiak Pictures production. Producers: Maurice Fadida, Eric B. Fleischman. Executive producers: André Druskeit, Mickey Gooch Jr., Jon Gosier, Victor Shapiro, Emily Siegel, Raphael Swann.
CREW: Director/writer: Elle Callahan. Cinematography: Nico Aguilar & Tommy Oceanak. Editing: Nick Garnham Wright. Music: Blitz//Berlin.
CAST: Elizabeth Mitchell, Abigail Cowen, Gideon Adlon, Cameron Crovetti, Ashley Bell, Lulu Antariksa, Christian Camargo, Treva Etienne, Jess Varley, Riley Scott..