‘She is the daughter of darkness’
Witches of Blackwood aka The Unlit is a 2021 Australian horror film about a young woman who returns to her hometown to discover witchcraft is rife.
Directed by Kate Whitbread (Surviving Georgia) from a screenplay written by Darren Markey, the movie stars Cassandra Magrath (The Dustwalker; Wolf Creek), Kevin Hofbauer, Lee Mason, John Voce (Penelope, Pimp, Crush) and Nicholas Denton (Spirit of the Game, Glitch).
When Claire (Cassandra Magrath) returns to the country town of her upbringing, she discovers her former home in the grip of terrifying witchcraft. Claire arrives to find the town in the grip of fear, decay and madness. The streets are deserted, livestock is perishing, locals have fled – and those remaining whisper mad tales of a shadow that visits the town at night seeking blood.
With her uncle now a shell of the man he once was, living in an abandoned asylum, Claire seeks out answers as to the fate of her dead mother – only to come face to face with a terrible evil clan of which her mother is the leader…
” …the film doesn’t always suspend reality and is a little obvious at times, but some of the scenes that play out the dark dialogue really tap at the door making, The Unlit, worth a watch.” Go Movie Reviews
“The filmmaker doesn’t overload her work with CGI (the disease of many modern horror films). Whitbread’s film wants to put the audience at unease from the very start. When the supernatural meets the “human” aspects, a palpable terror is found. Skillfully crafted and truly spine-chilling, Witches of Blackwood is an exceptionally good horror tale…” The Movie Review
“The first act of Darren Markey’s script hits character beats that establish Claire and her mental anguish but meanders on its journey to Blackwood. The film finds surer footing as the spectre of the supernatural surfaces. McGrath plays ‘unravelling sanity’ well and the confluence of her past and Blackwood’s present gives the actress some emoting opportunities that don’t always arise in genre pics.” Screen-Space
“Magrath works hard to bring her character to life, but the script isn’t doing her any favors. The movie is full of evocative settings and creepy imagery, but there’s not much time spent in character development and no real sense of the stakes. Plot elements are introduced and then dropped. Characters that appear to be important basically wander off and an antagonist… doesn’t seem to actually do anything.” UK Film Review
“There isn’t much in the way of shocks or gore, Witches of Blackwood does have its moments and thankfully they are mostly free of CGI. Rather than relying on jump scares Markey and Whitbread go for a constant feeling of unease and apprehension. And a large percentage of the time it works. Unfortunately, it undercuts itself more than once through the characters’ actions.” Voices from the Balcony
New Era has announced that in the USA: “The film will receive a home entertainment release, with a day-and-date DVD and Premium TVOD September 7th followed by a full digital release.”
Cast and characters:
Cassandra Magrath … Claire Nash
Kevin Hofbauer … Will James
Lee Mason … Terrence Walker
John Voce … Clifford Armstrong
Nicholas Denton … Luke Dawson
Susan Vasiljevic … Sarah Nash (apparition)
Francesca Waters … Sarah Nash
Nikola Dubois … Jen Foster
Maddy Vasiljevic … Young Claire Nash
Gigi Vasiljevic … Claire’s Daughter Sarah
Ryan A. Murphy … Ben Rogers
Lauren Bailey … Kate Healy (Woman in the bath)
Isabelle Altmann … Michelle Black
Erica Chestnut … Rachel Miller
Torin Cooney … Boy In Blue
Based upon the movie’s Facebook page principal photography seems to have been shot in December 2017 and early 2018.