Curse of the Witching Tree is a 2015 British horror film written, photographed, edited and directed by James Crow (Nightmare on 34th Street; A Suburban Fairytale; Black Creek; House of Salem), making his feature debut. It stars Sarah Rose Denton, Lucy Clarvis and Lawrence Weller.
An innocent woman, accused of murdering her son and hanged as a witch, curses a tree and the children who play around it. The effects of this act of revenge echo through the years and centuries, and restless spirits haunt the house where the bodies of the cursed children have been buried.
A family move into their new home, and begin to uncover the terrible truth behind The Witching Tree and the murdered children upon which they unknowingly sleep.
“There are many familiar elements to Curse of the Witching Tree, but Crow blends them with style and unfussy simplicity. Budgetary restrictions have removed any temptation towards superfluous flourishes but Crow has embraced this, manipulated the tools at his disposal, and created a finished film that is stark, bleak and genuinely chilling at times.” John Townsend, Starburst
“With a handful of shorts to his credit, Crow’s camera betrays a potentially talented eye behind it, but his pen can make no such claim here. Thus, the tension he constructs throughout serves only to prelude an onslaught of cheap scare tactics. Equally undermined is Pete Coleman’s lovely score, which shares audio space with awful pop ballads…” Rob Getz, HorrorNews.net
“Using suggestion, the barely glimpsed and shadow, Crow cultivates an atmosphere of dread in which sackcloth headed spirits and black clad witches lurk just out of sight, affording us the briefest of glimpses as they torment and haunt the family.” Hickey’s House of Horrors
“Holding the film together is the assured and stylistic direction from James Crow. He has a gift for creating fantastic atmospheric shots that really add to the overall creepiness and effectiveness of the film. He is also aware of the the what makes for a good ghost/supernatural story.” The Gingernuts of Horror
Cast and characters:
- Sarah Rose Denton – Amber Thorson
- Lucy Clarvis – Emma Thorson
- Lawrence Weller – Jake Thorson
- Jon Campling – Father Flanagan
- Danielle Bux – Isobel Redwood
- Caroline Boulton – Eva
- Lydia Breden-Thorpe – Lily
- Ben Greaves-Neil – Merrick
Production on the film began in May 2014 in Kent, England, UK