Starring: James Houghton and Albert Salmi
Momentum Pictures
RRP: 12.99
Certificate: 18
Available 24 October 2005

A young couple petting in a car near a run-down and supposedly haunted house are set-up in a practical joke by two teenage boys. However, the perpetrators get their comeuppance in a particularly horrific fashion at the hands of an unknown assailant. It transpires that the church owns the property, but when a young priest moves in to take it over, he gets more than he bargained for. There are existing tenants who are catered for in the deeds; a crazy old woman lives in a ramshackle shack nearby; and a police detective is a constant presence whilst investigating the killings of the two boys. Then a series of outlandish 'accidents' occur. The old woman's mute son - the last descendant of the house's original family - is the prime suspect, even though the old woman swears the one responsible is a powerful witch who was killed hundreds of years ago...

I have to say that it's curious none of the characters think to question the presence of a little girl in a pristine white old-fashioned dress immediately before some of the bizarre violent events. Nevertheless, Superstition is an eminently watchable film. What originality it has comes from the fact is uses several established horror film formats, primarily the Friday the 13th franchise. But in this instance that doesn't worry me, I enjoy those films. There's no Jason Vorhees-type menace here; rather the connection comes from the increasingly inventive ways of seeing-off the victims, and hardly any of them are obvious fodder.

This film also goes against the grain by making you think the weak personality is the one who will ultimately win through and then doing the opposite. The backstory scenes involving the witch are rather well-handled too, the inference being the woman is possessed by the devil, as opposed to being an innocent with a few parlour tricks who is put to death by superstitious yokels.

Shakespeare it's not, but if you watch it in the spirit it's intended it turns out to be most entertaining. Imagine the Friday the 13th films crossed with Witchfinder General, with a little of The Exorcist thrown in, and you won't be far wrong.

Ty Power

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