TIFF 2017: ‘Pyewacket’ Review

(from left to right) Nicole Muñoz with director Adam MacDonald in PYEWACKET, an Entertainment One release.


It feels like Adam Macdonald has greatly improved on the tone and stylistic decisions he made on his directorial debut, Backcountry. With Pyewacket, a film about a girl and her friends exploring black magic and Satanism, he is definitely much better at putting together an intense and gritty horror narrative (thanks to its characters) than he is at crafting a survival film.

Macdonald sets the tone and foreshadows the narrative with a semi-cold opener, leaving the audience with an uncomfortable feeling and the desire to know more. Sadly, the intrigue stops after the first act. Pyewacket isn’t intimidating enough to strike fear into observers and, at this point in the story, all of our characters feel like plot devices, solely existing just in hopes to get the audience members to react – in any way possible. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that this film would have been much better off as a short.

Rating: 5/10

Public Screenings: Sept 14 9:45 pm, Sept 16 7 pm

Find all of our TIFF 2017 reviews and coverage here.

One Reply to “TIFF 2017: ‘Pyewacket’ Review”

  1. MacDonald utilizes insignificant FX and a constrained measure of assets to fabricate strain through sound outline, exhibitions, and successful camera-work. He uses handheld shots to strengthen the climate, and where ordinarily this guerrilla style look can spoil a film, here it makes a fly-on-the-divider feeling. There’s one shot specifically around the 30-minute sign of something in the most distant separation of a wide. This is restriction getting it done. The terrible animal doesn’t require a nearby to startle. In some cases it’s what’s out of sight of a shot that demonstrates the most disrupting. He regularly introduces the POV of Pyewacket with a skimming Steadicam or Ronin, and it gave me an uneasy feeling of voyeurism that increased the strain.

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