Archive for September 14th, 2010

Season of the Witch

by on Sep.14, 2010, under Daily Review

Romero’s third film focus’ closer on a singular character and the loneliness within, which differs from his previous two films which covered group emotions, hysteria and panic. This is a much more claustrophobic film, but also holds the enemy here as the general social public outside of Joan’s (Jan White) life and mind.

A middle aged house wife become haunted by dreams of a masked man when her life becomes to fall apart. He husband works away, her teenage daughter hides in her bedroom and her afternoon housewife club becomes dreary. She falls under the guidance of one of the local ladies, a suburban witch who offers her advice and a new escape out of the usual day to day affairs.

Romero uncovers something very deep with this film. His style and ability are exceptional, pushing his leading actress, White, into an almost confessional role of despair and desire in what plays out like a chaotic Brigit Jones’ Diary. Her obsession with the men in the neighbourhood, a pleading cry of acknowledgement for her life which has been lost and the downward spiral which she falls whist looking for an escape.

A script which works so well and natural with the cast of believable characters struggling with the secret lives which they all live. Joan plays with her lovers as naturally as if she were baking a cake or preparing sandwiches as she dabbles with the dark arts. A brutal revelation towards the end of the film offers the gateway which Joan needed which is emphasised by a jovial social gathering, much more uplifting than the others in the film, but clashes in the mind of the viewer over the events which we’ve just witnessed.

Romero shows his versatility here, shooting from a totally different ballpark than his previous two films, yet holding all the key characteristics of his work. Another fine example.

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