Reviewed by Alex Wiggins
You know how some people compare things to car wrecks? They talk about how something was so horrible to watch, but they couldn’t look away. Yeah, A Sisterhood of Death was the wreck you saw, ignored, and walked away from only to never speak of it again. The low-budget horror-comedy focuses on three witches who lure men into satanic rituals by seducing them with the promise of a show at their burlesque house. Once the men are sacrificed, the women inherit supernatural powers that they use for their own selfish and shallow needs. At the core of the film are themes of vanity, lust for power, and greed, but director Antony De Gennaro fails to do any of them justice with his boring and slow-moving piece. Although cluttered with flaws, the film certainly does have some good in it.
First of all, shout out to Naomi Hiramoto for her superb special effects/make-up work. The film was clearly shot on a budget and it’s evident that she did the best she could with what she had (and succeeded greatly). Rolling off of that statement, the cinematography is easy on the eyes and simple. De Gennaro and cinematographer Connor Hair clearly know how to work around a small budget and use a lot of calm, natural lighting much to their advantage to give the film a very pleasing look/feel. The score fits the style and mood of the piece exceptionally well and is filled with cartoonish sounds and bubbly melodies. De Gennaro also does some interesting and consistent directorial decisions (such as the use of the color red). These types of decision are greatly noticeable in the opening scene. The girls are reminiscent of the sirens from Greek mythology (in the aspect of how they hang around water looking for men to seduce and ultimately prey on). De Gennaro also has a knack for aesthetically pleasing shots and camera work while mixing in his own unique brand of experimental camera shots, angles, and shenanigans. Overall, it’s evident that the heart of a good movie and passion is present, but Sisterhood is ultimately is a wannabe with no real potential.
Sisterhood’s biggest problem is that it knows what type of film it’s trying to be, but never quite gets there. Usually, when movies are a comedy the idea is to make people laugh. If you laugh at all during this movie (and this is a big “if”), it’s unintentional. Frequently, you will find yourself wondering if the acting in pornos are better than the actors in this movie or if that’s the joke. Also, the eighty-eight minute film doesn’t even develop a legitimate plot or conflict until forty-nine minutes in. Even then, a strong case could be made that there never was one. Everything just plays off like a bad adult version of Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark?. The film just overindulges in it’s own antics and campiness, which isn’t cute or funny to begin with, making a very difficult viewing experience. Finally, the characters are flat and inconsistent with no real connection to the audience. For example, take the character of Franky. Franky’s mannerisms, style, accent, and thought process hardly make any sense and you will often find yourself wondering why he is depicted the way he is or why he doesn’t die within the first thirty seconds of the film. You will probably even find yourself wondering why he’s also more attractive than the ‘sexy witches’. But then again, this isn’t a movie you want to dwell on.
When it comes to witches, stick with 1998’s The Craft because A Sisterhood of Death is all over the place with no solid direction, value, scares, or humor. At least with The Craft you get to see Fairuza Balk give the performance of a lifetime. However, if you and you friends have been drinking or are impaired, then Sisterhood just might be for you!