When I read the synopsis on the back of the DVD package for Heretic Films London Voodoo I couldn’t wait to watch it. I stayed up ultra late and toughed through my exhaustions in hopes of the film being half as good as it sounded. In the end, I enjoyed it, but I felt it was just too big of a story for the budget they had.
The back of the box reads, “When ambitious New York analyst Lincoln Mathers (Doug Cockle) relocates his family to Englund, his wife, Sarah (Sara Stewart) unearths a voodoo grave buried beneath the cellar and releases the spirit of an ancient voodoo princess. Sarah is possessed by the spirit, which unleashes strange passions within her that threatens her family with an unimaginable evil… The tension builds to a violent confrontation and a full-on exorcism.
There lies the only major problem with ‘London Voodoo,’ when they say a “full-on exorcism”. I got flashes of ‘Serpent and the Rainbow,’ ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Exorcist: The Beginning’ flushing through my head when I read that line. Sure it’s an independent feature film, but I still had my standards set pretty high when I read that. The movie is fantastic, but the ending is just too damn big of an idea for such a low budget. It’s less than exciting and left me slightly disappointed- only because the build up was tremendous!
Robert Pratten’s story and script was fabulous, he did such a exquisite job of building the characters and the story around them. The pace was perfect and never left me bored for a second. Being that this was Robert Pratten’s first project, I’m astounded with the type of film he was able to manufacture. It felt literally perfect to me except for the finale. Pratten is a very stylistic director, who was able to bring a lot of emotion and suspense to the film.
But let’s not forget about the acting! Unbelievable, probably the best acting I’ve ever seen in an independent feature film. Doug Cockle was in ‘Reign of Fire’ and Sara Stewart is going to be in ‘Batman begins,’ that should be enough to show you that there was some experience involved in the film. I truly believed Sara’s character when she transformed from sweet homemaker to psycho-bitch voodoo priest. I didn’t doubt Sara?s character for a second; she was insane!
Apart from all the obvious, there were certain things that really added to the final product, specifically the editing and sound work. The overdubbing was top notch, when the Sarah is possessed and starts to speak in tongues, you believe it’s actually her doing it. The editing mixed with the directing style made the film very artistic and beautiful to watch, even though it’s about voodoo.
Overall the film was extremely well done, perfectly assembled and brilliantly written- but that ending really let me down. Either way, I’d probably watch it again because it really is a cool movie and has some really kick ass parts (like when Sarah bites Lincoln’s nose!). Check out Heretic Films for more of their movies like ‘I’ll Bury You Tomorrow’ and ‘Ghouls.’