Since her father’s death, teenager Leah has an interest in the occult and a strained relationship with her mother. After a heated argument, Leah looks for ways to punish her. She performs a ritual, asking for her mother’s death. Soon after, she starts to regret it, but evil is not so easily sent away. Slow burning occult horror builds up to a shocking climax.
Director Adam Macdonald quietly builds up the tension over the altercations between mother and daughter, not depicting either of them as a villain or a saint. We get to care about both of them, adding intensity to the scenes of terror and danger. Leah’s group of friends with their subculture of heavy metal jackets and interest for the occult provide two good subplots. Like Leah, one of her friends experiences a presence, suggesting that evil may really be there. The film doesn’t rely on jump scares or cheap effects. Even without that, the ending of this slow-burning occult chiller is shocking enough.
Pyewacket is part of our Kick-Ass Women programme.