CERT: 15 / PLATFORM: PRIME VIDEO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Young journalist Joe (John Thacker) is impressed with his first published piece exposing the practices of witchcraft in the community. One person not happy with the article is coven leader Evie (Samantha Moorhouse), who invites Joe to experience a real coven and put right the inaccuracies of his original piece and get a better understanding of what they do as Wiccans. Once in the rather pleasant surroundings of the coven, which resembles a farm more than a realm of satanic worship. He’s enticed by the younger members of the coven, particularly Talia (Lauren Ellen Wilson) and terrified by Evie’s husband Zander (Craig R. Mellor). Invited into a ceremony, Jo gets a little too ‘into’ things and he ends up having sex with Talia as the others eagerly watch on. His assumptions that the rituals are all just an excuse for a sex party seem to be accurate until he meets Alice (Laura Peterson), who appears to be being held captive in the house. Despite being forbidden from speaking to her, tries to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Written and directed by Matthew J. Lawrence, Coven of Evil is a low budget UK film and it shows. That said, the cast may be variable - something forgivable in a movie at this level - but the story is enough to engage the more ardent viewer. Far from being a clone of Midsommer or a take on The Wicker Man, Lawrence gives us an interesting escape-and-chase-style angle to go along with the pagan rituals and to-be-expected sacrifice, which keeps the attention.