Mark Of The Witch (2014), AKA Another, Not Rated, watched on Amazon Prime
“A beautiful young woman is driven into a dark underworld of demonic possession, desire, and extreme indulgences when she learns she may be the devil’s kin.” IMDB synopsis
- IMDB 2.8/10
- Metacritic N/A
- Rotten Tomatoes 43% critics, 38% audience
- Solee 0/5
- Mikey 0/5
WARNING: THIS REVIEW IS FULL OF SPOILERS AND SNARK.
Mikey: So. We just watched this movie. Both of us. Together. That happened, and it can’t unhappen. How did we end up in a universe where this sequence of events occurred?
Solee: An unhappy convergence of events led to this hellish nightmare. It was really my turn to pick, but I wasn’t feeling motivated to do so. I told you to take over, but suggested that we watch something with a witch, a checkbox we’ve yet to hit this month. Then we threw 75 minutes of our lives away.
Mikey: I feel like good times were had by all. Anyone listening in would have enjoyed the laughter of free spirits.
Solee: Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. I have emotions like a real human person.
Mikey: Wow, with chops like that, you could be in a movie! Perhaps this movie! I guess the biggest concern is whether you’re capable of moving around in extreme slow motion. Constantly.
Solee: I’m not even capable of WATCHING someone move around in extreme slow motion constantly. I’m not sure our Beloved Readers are going to understand the massive volume of slo-mo footage we just sat through. This movie was just over an hour long? If we’d watched the slo-mo parts at normal speed, I’m pretty sure it would be, like, 35 minutes. TOPS. And if they cut out all the parts that were completely unnecessary to the story? This is a 7-minute short.
Mikey: And incidentally, that’s exactly how long the credits were – which were, I am not kidding, in slow motion. Yes, text scrolling up a screen in slow motion. It’s a real thing that we actually saw (and fast forwarded through). So, with that said, I don’t know if it’s too early for this question, but I think we won’t be spending a ton of time discussing this movie: Solange. Is this movie better or worse than #Horror? The readers deserve to know.
Solee: I wish I could say there was some hesitation as I pondered this very important question but … it was SO MUCH WORSE. Which, honestly, isn’t a thing I thought was possible. I’m actually sitting here wishing for #Horror as a palate cleanser. It’s possible I’ve forgotten some of #Horror’s worst offenses, though.
Mikey: I have a much harder time with the question. They’re just so differently terrible. I will give this movie credit because about ⅔ of the way through, it starts having bits and pieces of plot appear in addition to the utterly random slow-motion shots that don’t connect to anything before or after them. Whereas #Horror never stopped with the particular brand of awful it contained. But on the other hand, once we actually encountered people engaging in dialogue, we got to experience the acting in this movie, and that too became problematic. Not to mention the fireball launching.
Solee: Sorry, I got distracted reading our review of #Horror last year, trying to remind myself of it’s travesties. I had completely forgotten the synchronized swimming routine. This gives me hope that in time, I will forget the … well, the EVERYTHING about Mark of the Witch. Acting. Plot. CGI fire superimposed over old ladies fighting. This movie felt like someone cut up a bunch of footage (possibly from several different movies) shuffled it up, and then taped it back together randomly.
Mikey: Except we know it’s not different movies, because every single frame of this movie prominently features the lead actress’s face dead center, in soft lighting. This was a movie about a girl who is obsessed with herself, made by a director who is obsessed with her.
Solee: I absolutely HATE when one character is filmed in that soft, fuzzy filter and everyone else looks like real life (or worse). That actress certainly got the best of everything. She’s got one hell of an agent. I mean, if you discount the fact that she allowed her to agree to do this movie. Earlier in the month, you mentioned the Halloween episode of The Office where Gabe brings in a film of random clips all spliced together to make the viewer uncomfortable (because even plot is a comfort) … I felt like I was watching that again.
Mikey: Yep, there were huge portions like that. There were parts where they just went out of the way to not be linear and clear. Like she’s suddenly in the middle of a conversation with her friend which you later realize must be half a day later, as she’s in different clothes. Then bam, cut to her coming home from work hours later. I feel like maybe they filmed an actual story, and then were like “This makes too much sense! Put it in slo-mo and cut out 90% of it!” I do want to give them credit though: the scene where she sleeps for the entire night, they at least did that one in fast-motion instead of making us watch the whole thing.
Solee: A legitimate concern, given that they made us watch them walk all the way across the hospital parking lot for no reason.
Mikey: With no dialogue. In slow motion.
Solee: There’s a small part of me that wonders how this movie with it’s jerkiness and random clips of nastiness could feel sooooo different from House of 1000 Corpses, which employed a lot of the same weird filters and slanty camera work and such. Then the larger part of my brain reminds me that House of 1000 Corpses used that to artistic effect in the midst of an actual story. That seems to make ALL the difference.
Mikey: That reminds me: there’s a scene about ¾ of the way through the movie, where Aunt Ruth explains (basically this scene IS the entire movie, everything else could be discarded since she actually tells you what is going on) that “this is how it starts, with these weird dreams”. So… was everything before that a dream? It explains a lot.
Solee: Maybe? I don’t know. I guess Auntie Exposition was supposed to be the person we related to? She was a witch who had apparently switched sides, devoted herself to Jesus, and vowed to stop stealing young women’s bodies to keep herself young.
Mikey: Of course that’s before the end of the movie, after her death, when she decides “meh, alright” and possesses a new body. In a completely different ritual which is almost identical to the “giving birth” ritual instead of to the “taking over a body” ritual.
Solee: I think we were supposed to see that she was being forced to continue by her sister. But she certainly didn’t put up much of a fight. These characters did not understand how emotions work at all. They were always smiling when they should have been frowning or frowning when they should have been trying to look innocent. I’ve seen that used to good effect in other movies–The Babadook, for example–but in this one it just looked like the actors had no idea what they were actually saying, so they were adding random facial expressions.
Mikey: I think emotions are hard when you’re pretty. They’re like math or whatevers.
Solee: Ha. Ha. Ha. So, I could go on and on and on about all the terrible details of this movie, but I don’t think that would be entertaining. Did you have anything else you wanted to mention?
Mikey: Just that the scene when Aunt Ruth stabs herself was straight out of Sharknado with the CGI blood. Zero out of five.
Solee: Oh, one last thing from me, too. There was a montage of Jordyn running down the street and ending up in a weird room and then going to Aunt Ruth’s hospital/nursing home and for the entire time she wasn’t wearing any pants. Also, each perspective change (about once every 5 seconds) also had a different Instagram filter applied to it. Anyway. ZERO. So many zeros.
Mikey: Okay wait, to round out the no-pants discussion, I want to add my favorite scene in the entire movie was when Aunt Ruth said “I think you’re old enough to be told this now…” in the scene you refer to, and then you yelled “you need to wear pants when you leave the house!”
Solee: She was DEFINITELY old enough to know that. She was 18 going on 25. Although, to be fair … that whole series of events could have been part of a dream sequence. I often leave the house with no pants in my nightmares.
Mikey: I’ve never had a nightmare so bad it involved watching this movie before! How are we going to follow this one up?
Solee: Well, tomorrow I’m going to pick a good one. I’m thinking The Reaping (2007) will fit the bill.
Mikey: The only way to go is up!
(We watched The Reaping on Netflix in case you want to see it before tomorrow’s review!)