Writer: Brendan McCarthy (Screenplay)
Starring: Anna Walton, Naomi Battrick, Sam Hazeldine, Elva Trill, Patrick Gibson
Plot: Faith’s world is turned upside down after she finds out that her beloved father is dying. When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young becomes her field hockey coach, Faith finds a compassionate spirit and much-needed mother figure. Little does she know that Sissy is the head of a centuries-old witches’ coven that uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying.
Tagline – A young woman makes a fateful pact with a witches’ coven that can save her dying father’s life.
Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Good Horror
Story: Cherry Tree starts as we meet Faith Maguire (Battrick) a school girl that is considered somewhat of an outsider but continues to try out for the field hockey team, where her new coach Sissy Young (Walton) gives her a chance. in Faith’s personal life her father is losing his battle with cancer which would leave her alone in the world but he Sean (Hazeldine) stays strong for her.
Sissy is no ordinary woman though, she is an ancient witch that offers Faith a chance to cure her father, but this is nothing like Faith had imagined as she finds herself being involved in a secret ritual for her coven.
Thoughts on Cherry Tree
Characters – Sissy is the new field hockey coach at the school, but deep down she is an ancient witch searching for the next victim of the ritual she performs to keep life, she constantly appears in Faith’s life to make good on the deal they make. Faith is the school girl, she is about to lose her father to cancer and while never fitting in at school she is offered a deal by the new field hockey coach but it isn’t anything like she had prepared for. Sean is Faith’s father he has been battle his sickness but it doesn’t look good until Faith makes the deal. He is a good man who wants to make sure his daughter has everything she needs when he is gone.
Performances – Anna Walton is good in the witch role, we have seen her in these types of roles before but her look and presence is felt throughout the film. Naomi Battirck is good as the confused, hopeless feeling teenager that would give up anything to save her father. Sam Hazeldine is solid but we don’t get to see enough form his character.
Story – The story does have elements of Rosemary’s Baby to it, but I feel there is a much more desperate desire from Faith to go through with a deal which comes from the supernatural side of the things. She must decide whether to give up her family or make a deal which any school kid would do to save a parent. This does follow the route you would expect but it also does go into folk law which is something that always entertains in horror.
Horror – The horror comes from the idea of witches looking to unleashes the underworld with the creature of choice being the centipede.
Settings – The settings do the best to make it feel like this could be an everyday location for a normal average school girl.
Special Effects – The effects are used well through the film, be it that most are practical effects that add to the gore beautifully.
Final Thoughts – This is a good horror, it has plenty of blood and gore as well as giving us a dark twist on a folk law which is a pleasure to see.
Overall: Good horror all around.