Witchouse 3: Demon Fire

Witchouse 3: Demon Fire (2001)
Full Moon Pictures
Cast: Debbie Rochon, Tanya Dempsey, Tina Krause
Extras: Commentaries, Home Movies, Interviews, Bloopers & Outtakes, Photos, Short Film, and more

In my review for ’Witchouse: Blood Coven’, I stated that the DVD had set a high watermark for quality in direct-to-video releases. Well, indie horror auteur J.R. Bookwalter must have read that statement, as the newly released ’Witchouse 3: Demon Fire’ goes even further in terms of bells and whistles. For starters, this DVD contains three audio commentarires, featuring the director, the cast, and the production crew. Each one is very entertaining, as this close-knit group has a great time discussing the film. This is followed up by often hilarious behind-the-scenes footage which shows how a low-budget movie is really made. In the same vein, there is a 16-minute gag reel that is very funny too. A series of interviews with the cast, most notably star Debbie Rochon. Fans of Bookwalter will delight in ’Burning of the Salem Witches’, a film he made as a child. The extras are rounded out by still galleries, cast & crew filmographies, and bonus trailers.

As for the movie itself, ’Witchouse 3: Demon Fire’ was shot on DVCAM video and mastered using the Filmlook process. The image here has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and is enhanced for 16×9 TVs. Having been shot on video, the image is very clear and sharp, showing virtually no grain and only a slight amount of lens flare at times. The Filmlook process is well-utlilized here, as only a few shots look like the typical ’shot on video’ movie. The colors are good and the image is never too dark or bright. The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel audio track (which Bookwalter waived his fee to get) sounds great. The use of ambient surround sound effects during the suspense scenes is very well done and the dialogue is always clear.

Storywise, ’Witchouse 3: Demon Fire’ isn’t really related to the first two films in the series. Stevie (Debbie Rochon) and Rose (Tina Krause) are making a documentary on witchcraft, when suddenly their old friend Annie (Tanya Dempsey) comes to visit. Annie has been beaten by her boyfriend, and her friends are more than glad to take her in. To help forget her troubles, Annie agrees to assist with the documentary and participates in a fake seance conducted by Stevie. However, their mock ritual inadvertanly conjures the spirit of Lilith (Brinke Stevens), an evil witch. Soon, people begin to die and the three women begin to suspect that one of their group may be possessed. ’Witchouse 3: Demon Fire’ is a fun, fast film which offers some suspenseful scenes (the seance in particular) and above-average (for the genre) performances. The film won’t be hailed as a horror classic, but it’s much better than many of the Hollywood horror flops which have come through in the past decade, so fright fans may want to check this one out.