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Reel Nightmare: Book of Witchcraft–Reading is Fun

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BY October 19, 2020
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After you watch a lot of horror movies, you start asking questions. Queries like, who’s that guy? And, when will people learn to leave ancient magics alone? That’s probably a question the filmmakers in the 2017 flick Reel Nightmare: Book of Witchcraft should have asked. But they didn’t, of course. They never do.

What’s a Reel Nightmare: Book of Witchcraft? I Want One!

A film crew from Miskatonic University (wink, wink) chooses a dilapidated Victorian-era mansion as the location for their new movie. Surely nothing could go wrong when you’re shooting at an abandoned house in the woods. Yes, this is the time when the crew could ask one of those pesky questions, like, why did no one ever buy this house and fix it up?

But, of course, they don’t ask that question. They know the house is supposedly haunted and that’s the appeal. When they find a tattered old book in the house, they don’t ask any questions about it, either. They just start reading the old incantations aloud. And then before you can say, “This is one optimistic film crew,” the worst happens. Who could have seen that coming?!

Well, everyone, except for this film crew apparently. What they don’t know, but we do, is that a trio of sister witches once called this manse home. And once the cursed words in the Necronomicon, that old book the crew found, are read, the witch sisters return to life. They didn’t die natural deaths, so they’re pretty mad about that and the trespassing. Looks like we’re not finishing the film shoot today.

Who’s Behind This Reel Nightmare?

Armand Petrikowski, then working as Armand Petri, wrote and directed the film, a production of Reel Nightmare Films and Together Magic Films. Petri also appears in the film as Hassan. Other cast members include Madeleine Heil as Sophia and Garrett Morosky as Christian. As for the witches, Christine Uhebe plays Agatha Goodwin, Eliza Bonev (billed as Eliza Bone) is Rosamund Goodwin, and Kate McCafferty is Miranda Goodwin.

Behind the camera, John DeFazio, who’s known for his work on movies like The Canyons and Catharsis, lensed the flick. Dara Taylor, who’s worked in the music departments of a number of TV shows and movies (like Supernatural and Shaft), composed the music.

Critical Mass: What the Reviews Said about Reel Nightmare: Book of Witchcraft

As with many low-budget horror movies, there is a variety of audience responses. There are some folks who really disliked the movie, for example. Here you get the usual comments: amateurish acting, bad effects, etc. Many scenes are shot in the found footage style, though, so these complaints are unsurprising.

In addition, some viewers had issues with the characterization or lack thereof. They would have liked more explanation, for example, of why Christian the filmmaker is so set on filming in the witches’ home.

However, many other viewers praised the movie. They acknowledged that the filmmakers didn’t have the biggest budget, but thought that they did the best with what they had. The witches and their effects were a particular highlight. Even some folks who didn’t like the movie praised the witches. They just wished there were more scenes with them.

Reel Nightmare: Book of Witchcraft is available on demand on Roku – sign up and watch it on HorrorMax TV!

featured image via Reel Nightmare Films

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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at salome@comicyears.com.

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