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The Independent Critic

Eleonora Albrecht, Barbara Bouchet, Simona Cappia, Mirela David, Alessandro Demcenko, Marco Di Stefano, Gerard Diefenthal
Gerard Diefenthal
89 Mins.
Brain Damage Films

 "Darkside Witches" is Predictable but Creepy  

Written and directed by Gerard Diefenthal, Darkside Witches has been picked up by Brain Damage Films for a DVD release here in the U.S. While the film's plot is rather familiar, Diefenthal has crafted a creepy, involving indie horror flick centered around an ancient tale of witchery that won't die. In 1589, six innocent women were accused of witchery. One of the last women to be burned was offered a chance at revenge, a chance that seemingly lingers throughout the centuries.

Flash forward to the present.

Father Gabriele (Diefenthal) and Father Milio (Marco Di Stefano) are performing an exorcism that has tragic consequences for both of them, Father Gabriele being left with severe burns over his body and Father Milio much more scarred on the inside. Father Milio continues to pastor the parish that exists where the six women had been burned centuries before, and he calls upon Father Gabriele's assistance when mysterious, dark things start happening.

Darkside Witches doesn't really explore any new territory, but Diefenthal has a knack for pacing and for building scenes that are genuinely suspenseful, jarring and uncomfortable. While the film is obviously a low-budget effort, and at times it definitely shows, Darkside Witches has a retro vibe to it that will please plans of older Italian horror who will likely find themselves hoping they've discovered a new voice in horror.

Darkside Witches is available on DVD through Brain Damage Films and you can also catch it for yourself on Amazon Instant Video. For more information, visit the film's website linked to in the credits.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic