Directed by Alex Merkin [Other horror films: No Escape Room (2018)]
For a Syfy original, I think House of the Witch is decent. It’s not great, by any means, but I do think it transcends much of the crap that they’ve put out in the last seven years.
There’s not much in the way of plot – a group of teenagers go to the local haunted house for a small Halloween party, but shortly after arriving, things begin to happen, such as entities appearing in mirrors, and the doors lock, trapping them all inside.
Despite this, I generally found the film enjoyable, albeit easily on the average side. I think a large part of my tepid enjoyment was due to the six central performances all being reasonably decent. Starring Jesse Pepe, Coy Stewart, Michelle Randolph, Darren Mann, Arden Belle (who is probably the weakest link), and Emily Bader, I found most of them acceptable and decently realistic, so while the story itself isn’t overflowing in creativity, it comes together nicely.
Most of the special effects are your average Syfy fair, but there was one decent scene in which one of the characters had a few of their fingernails pulled our – definitely a painful sequence to watch. Another thing I enjoyed was the idea that breaking the windows of the house didn’t lead outside, but into something else (what that could have been wasn’t explained, but I liked the way they went about it).
House of the Witch isn’t the most inspired Syfy original, but I do think it was decent enough to be thrown an around average score. It’s not as good as Neverknock was, but it blew films like The Sandman and Truth or Dare (all three Syfy films from 2017) out of the water.