A suspenseful tale is always something that I find incredibly easy to jump into. There’s nothing like a mystery, one that leads you down a path with its characters, and providing its share of twists, catching you off guard. The flipside to that ability to engage a film’s audience is when a mystery story doesn’t quite know what kind of film it is, which is the case with the Darin Scott-helmed SOMETHING WICKED. It’s a film that though entertaining, is somewhat lost in its own attempts to give its viewers too many twists.
Starring Shantel Vansanten as Christine, a young college student attempting to put her life back together, following the accidental deaths of her mother and father. With her fiance’ James is by her side, Christine does her absolute best to look on the bright side and do something with herself, all while living with her brother and his psychiatrist wife (Brittany Murphy in her final performance). When Christine begins being stalked by a mysterious person, the film becomes akin to one of the SCREAM films, with everybody seeming like a suspect, and turning a story of a young woman’s journey into a semi-entertaining whodunnit, with everybody from Christine’s boyfriend, her brother, and a creepy co-worker of her boyfriend all being put under the film microscope. Shakespearean quotes are written on mirrors and cars, Christine has her clothes stolen while swimming, and a hooded figure appears to try to get her.
While it works on that level, as a standard pseudo-slasher, where the film suffers, is in it’s desire to continually try to throw you off guard. It’s a good touch to not know what’s coming next, but when a film does it to the extreme and you begin to lost track of who might be guilty, who might just be horny, and who might be orchestrating the whole thing, SOMETHING WICKED gets a little crowded by its twists. Those odd choices, mixed with a somewhat of an odd performance by Brittany Murphy, the film just gets confusing at times.
The faults within the film never lies within the performances by its actors or Darin Scott’s directing. It’s adequately filled with good performances, and it seems that Scott had somewhat of a decent vision for the film, it just heads into a second half that becomes too cluttered and gives its viewers a final reveal (and shock) that makes you wonder why the film needed to get in that direction. It works as a mystery/thriller/horror hybrid, and doesn’t need a tacked on shock ending, because the film’s first half is actually pretty entertaining on its own.
While not exactly a smash hit, SOMETHING WICKED is still a film worth checking out, because even with its faults, it’s still somewhat of an entertaining pizza and beer film that you can watch with friends on a Friday night.