Two Witches was a film both Efrit and I were looking forward to seeing. Witches have long been a resource for children's gateway horror and a go-to Halloween costume for those not inclined to put much thought into it. But there have been dabbles of late into taking the classic witch more seriously and with a darker tone. Obviously you have The Witch (VVitch) that was adored by most for its effective portrayal of the time period, and The Wretched, which played out like a witch version of Fright Night in many ways. But Two Witches decides to go with an even more intense form of horror, and it is mostly better for it.
Two Witches appears to try to do something ambitious in the form of intertwining two tales, like a less-complex Crash, but with malevolent witches. The result is a mixed bag from a story perspective. While you know the inevitable connection is coming (the film is divided by chapters), the bridge doesn't feel fully fleshed out or creatively interwoven. It's not poor, but it's also not an impressive element of the film.
What is impressive is the absolutely intense execution of the horror elements. The effects work is very good throughout, really breathing that visceral nastiness into the style of witches the production was going for. It leads to some truly scary scenes, unsettling imagery, and insanely gruesome moments. There feels like an intent to shock on more than one occasion, I would say it succeeds in those moments. And all of these scenes are carried by a cast superior to horror films of a similar ilk, and that goes for the witches and the fodder they are salivating over.
The first chapter felt the most polished and interesting, but perhaps that is a personal preference as I found myself more annoyed than terrified by the antagonist in the second act. Also, the witch in the first chapter acted with more intention, while the second witch felt more like a spoiled child that was waiting for a present. While that may have been the purpose, it took away a little bit of the power from the second witch's ability to impose fear.
The critique of the story comes crashing down in the finale when it randomly and pridefully leaves the final scene up in the air for an obvious sequel. While Two Witches is by no means a bad horror film, I'm a little surprised it was confident enough to build the sequel tease into its ending. Perhaps it was also the bad taste in my mouth the whole scene left behind, which would require ruining the final moments so I'll refrain from going into detail. Despite this error, the film overall brought the truly grotesque and morbid nature of the evil horror witch successfully through its scares and effects work. It's certainly worth a watch, especially for those who are a fan of the mythos.
I will never fault a horror film for having ambition, zeal, and a strong commitment to powerful effects work, and Two Witches hits on all those notes. So perhaps it is worthy of a sequel, even if I didn't want it to tell me it was.
Horror Qualifier: 10/10
Horror Quality: 8/10
FIlm Quality: 6/10