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Witchouse 3: Demon Fire (2001)
--Review by Nic Brown--

There are a number of truths that have been taught to fans of horror films over the years: never go down in the basement alone when you hear that strange noise; never approach the killer’s body just because he looks dead after you shoot/stab/club or otherwise assault him; and never perform a summoning ritual, even as a joke. Unfortunately for the ladies in J.R. Bookwalter’s Witchouse 3: Demon Fire they missed that last part.

Debbie Rochon, Tina Krause and Tanya Dempsey play three friends who are sharing a house in Malibu. Dempsey has just escaped an abusive relationship and is sheltering with her friends who happen to be making a documentary on modern day witches. Things take a bad turn when the three of them perform a ritual late one night after too many drinks. At first they don’t think anything has happened except some coincidental electrical problems. However, within a few days of the ritual the spirit of an evil witch, Lilith (Scream Queen veteran Brinke Stevens), begins playing mind games with the women. Her goal is to punish them for playing with forces beyond their control. At first Lilith only toys with them but soon she turns to real violence and it becomes clear that she intends to kill them all one-by-one.

Witchouse 3 is a perfect example of filmmakers making good use of their resources. Despite a very limited budget and extremely aggressive nine day shooting schedule, writer/director J.R. Bookwalter still manages to produce an enjoyable film. This is due in no small part to the caliber of the players involved. Brinke Stevens, although only in the film for a handful of scenes, does a fantastic job playing the menacing and evil Lilith. Veteran horror actress Debbie Rochon lends her experience to the production with her portrayal of the tough and resilient documentary filmmaker, Stevie. There is also very good chemistry between Rochon, Krause, and Dempsey, which adds a certain flavor to the film not seen in many films made with such limited resources. The limited locations and special effects, while not distracting, do point to the film’s financial restrictions. However, overall, Witchouse 3 is a fun that relies on the talents of its cast, rather than the size of its budget to carry the film.

 


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