After discovering a disturbing video while hacking into his mother’s computer, 12-year old Finn (Charlie Tacker) is sent to spend the summer with his father Simon (Alex Draper) in Vermont.
Wanting to remain impartial and avoid hounding his son for his wrongdoing, he tries to encourage Finn to see the trip as an opportunity rather than a punishment.
Arriving at a house, Simon outlines his plans on flipping the property in order to make more on profit after renovations. But Finn believes differently when he sees just how much effort Simon has put into making the house a home.
Finn and Simon are strangely welcomed by a fearsome neighbour who says that the house is cursed by a witch who doesn’t want to leave.
And he’s right, as quite blatantly the house begins to come alive, through creaks, cracks and a heating system which showed no sign as to have ever worked, firing up. Then the witch herself appears, sitting in a chair and screams at them to stay.
Writer/Director Andy Mitton has devised a unique supernatural story playing on societal fears, the city being a dangerous place to live in, especially with what Finn discovered on the internet. It’s an unsafe world more so in comparison to the witch inside the house.
The witch named Lydia (Carol Stanzione) bonds father and son together, and Finn, a product of a separated family realises just how much his father means to him. Simon in turn tries to explain that he’s tried to censor some of the evils of the world from Simon, even asking at one point how his mother is dealing with changing life in the city.
Lydia the witch is also seen standing in corners and in the background in the first act, these moments are spine chilling. The simplicity of the witch hovering nearby during main scenes of dialogue is better than any visual effects jump scare.
Mitton throws the witch into the mix from early on when Simon and Finn are faced with her appearance. It’s an unnerving scene, but there’s nothing they can do about it, they’re faced with a witch in the house who won’t move and begs them to stay, yet she’s still a very terrifying entity.
Simon and Finn are forced to analyse the very real and scary situation as they bolt out the door and try to figure out what they’ve just seen.
Finn also begs his father to stop working on the house revealing that he knows he’s not going to sell it. Simon’s desperation and angst to shield his family from the city becomes apparent as he wants to make a proper home for his family.
Mitton explores many themes, one being fear of neglecting his son, and Lydia the witch plays the mirror of that fear since her anger was perhaps due to her own family neglecting her somehow which is why she’s so wicked.
As Simon gets to understand what Lydia really wants from him, it appears that in order to protect his family from the ever-changing world, he must start with the fibre of his family, even if it means cementing that bond with his own life.
Witch in the Window is a reflective film, with a naturalistic dialogue-style between the characters Simon and Finn. Their double act as father and son is believable, and displays the kinds of conversations audiences are probably having in their own homes with family, friends and work colleagues.
It’s a horror movie that doesn’t overwhelm with terror, but yet is subtle enough to still
scare audiences, wrapping up with an emotional finale.