It’s day twelve of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.
NOONDAY WITCH was an opening night movie for the Melbourne Czech Film Festival and therefore caught my attention. Based on a famous Czech poem ( later turned into a symphonic piece of music) the movie tells the story of a mother, who arrives at her husband's hometown, looking for a safe haven after her husband's apparent suicide. She is bringing her little daughter with her. The girl is unaware of her father's death, and as mother refuses to raise the issue the relationship between the two becomes increasingly distant. It does not help that the local legend about the Noonday Witch who comes to claim a child, is becoming reality. Or is it all in our heroine's head?
NOONDAY WITCH has a similar premise to Australian BABADOOK where a single mother, little by little, starts to lose her grip on reality. Intentionally bright colours create an idyllic image of the countryside, almost painfully so. The movie does not have any familiar horror gags. There are no jump scares, no creepy music that tells you when to get scared. Where other films use darkness, NOONDAY WITCH uses bright sunlight to a similar effect.
The movie is competently shot and acted, but is painfully slow. It would be forgiven if the ending had delivered, alas, it falls flat and predictable. NOONDAY WITCH is less scary than an average episode of THE GOOD WIFE. It is unfortunate, but apart from some nice cinematography and the original setting of a fairy tale Czech village, NOONDAY WITCH is a family drama masked as horror, that makes very little effort to scare or to invent.
SCORE OUT OF 5:
SCARY SCORE: none!
GORE SCORE: none!
FUN SCORE: 🎃