3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)
Thank you to AFI Conservatory for reaching out to me for this review.
Christina Dimanatara’s new short film Witchin’ should be on more people’s radar. Best described as a cross between The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Seth Rogen humor, the 20-minute short casts a charmingly juvenile spell that embraces sophomoric gags and has some solid satirical jabs along the way.
Young witch Donny (Madeleine Coghlan) has been labeled a “snowflake” by her classmates for being unable to cast powerful spells and having a genial personality. When her next assignment requires her to obtain “Big Dick Energy” from a human male, Donny ventures out into the mortal world confident the men within it will be just as docile and pleasant as those on the mortal TV shows she watches. When this turns out not to be the case, Donny must find a man willing to kiss her so she can get his “BDE” and show up her classmates.
Witchin’s combination of crude humor and fantasy is creative and entertaining. The tone is darkly comedic throughout and the actors’ straightforward delivery of everything makes it surprisingly charming. Madeleine Coghlan makes Donny simultaneously easy to laugh at and route for, and the satirical jabs at men, so-called “snowflakes”, and the inherent absurdity of its premise are well-done and don’t come off as mean-spirited. The ending (which I won’t dare spoil) ties everything together in a satisfying manner and the few moments of visual effects are brief but well-executed. I look forward to seeing where Christina Diamantara’s career goes as her work on Witchin suggests an intriguing and distinctive directorial voice. It won’t cater to all tastes, but Witchin’s darkly comic tone, a fun lead, and enjoyable dedication to its crudeness casts a memorable spell. See Witchin’.