I've been a movie enthusiast my whole life and been writing movie reviews for over 15 years.
Kitty Percy and Charlotte Colbert.
The new witch and swamp-centered horror movie She Will, contains so much fog, there might be times when you won’t be able to see what ___
___but that’s okay just so long as you remember what I just told you because it will definitely save your life later on.
My friend Paul didn’t heed my warning and now he’s dead. I’m not gloating another person’s death, but if there’s a word that’s a level below gloating, like lightly reveling that you were correct but still kind of sad your friend died even though friend is a strong word. Let’s just say we knew each other and were very cordial.
Now that you’ve seen Thor Love and Thunder and Uneven Pacing more times that you’d care to admit, perhaps you’d like to change gears and travel to the Scottish Highlands where people do things with sheep you wouldn’t believe and I would get flagged if I wrote it down during a movie review because that’s not really appropriate.
She Will opens with a once famous but now aging actress Veronica Ghent (Gretel and Hansel, last February’s awful Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel). You may remember her from that one film you saw her in a long time ago and maybe a couple of things she did on television, but there are times when you’ve wondered if she died sometime in the 2000s and then you realize that she’s still alive but now relegated to mattress commercials and playing Adam Sandler’s inappropriate aunt in a Netflix movie you would never see.
And by the way, Veronica’s costar in that one famous movie, the estimable British director Eric Hathbourne (just the name sounds douchey) is about to be knighted and the remake to their very famous movie is now being cast. But without Veronica.
If you remember, Eric Hathbourne was decades older than Veronica back in the day and there were rumors he might have been inappropriate with her when she was teenager but that’s probably just lies because Eric Hathbourne would never be a cad like that.
Meanwhile, Veronica is recovering from surgery as she’s had a double mastectomy and almost had a triple mastectomy but insurance wouldn’t cover it. She and her trusty traveling nurse Desi (Kota Eberhardt) are venturing to the Scottish Highlands for some rest and relaxation. A time for Veronica to heal in complete isolation as she really can’t stand the sight of people, especially now.
Turns out there’s about a dozen other individuals in this healing retreat led by the artist Tirador (Rupert Everett, that guy from My Best Friend’s Wedding who started that cringy song in the restaurant scene). They all recognize Veronica and can’t believe she’s still alive (“I can’t believe you’re still alive. My spouse now owes me money because I bet that you were alive and he bet that you were dead and now I am the winner and thanks for not being dead.”). Okay, that wasn’t an actual quote but a lot of people were thinking it.
Veronica wants to leave right this moment. F*ck those people. Desi tries to make that happen but there’s a storm a-brewin’ and no one’s leaving the lodge tonight. Might as well get comfortable.
Veronica is not happy about but even she can’t fight the weather. She makes herself feel better about it by tossing orphans over the ledge.
The storm comes. Veronica is now okay with it as she feels like she’s been at this retreat before but she can’t remember why or how.
Tirador regales the group with exposition about the thick mud that surrounds the ancient building. You see, dozens if not hundreds of women were burned for being a witch over the years and their ashes have been embedded into the very fabric of the soil. So don’t go putting it in your coffee no matter how oaky it smells.
Veronica now feels more of kinship with this place. Especially when she sleeps.
When she sleeps, she dreams. When she dreams, she can do anything she wants because there’s nothing stopping her from transcending time and space. The building and the countless witches that have died on its ground seem to be speaking to her. And if there’s some kind of way, otherworldly or otherwise, that Veronica can take revenge on those who violated her…she will.
Fun fact- It took me 3 tries to work in “she will” as the last thing I write before “What Works”.
Attempt #1- If there’s some way that Veronica can B-slap those who done did her dirty, then she’s gonna.
Attempt #2- If there’s some way that I can pad this word count, I will.
Attempt #3- If there’s some way that Veronica can do something to address the injustice in her world, then Will Smith will slap her.
Then I finally found one that works. #writingisaprocess
What Works With She Will.
- One of Alice Krige’s best late career performances. She’s in almost every scene in the movie, and you can’t take your eyes off her. You see Veronica as weak as she can be, and then become the fiery opposite of that. You always know where Veronica is coming from, but you rarely know how she will get there.
- Best use of ash since Avengers Infinity War.
- One of the best looking horror movies I’ve seen this year, and not just because you get a bunch of shots of desolate fields. There aren’t a lot of special effects (that I noticed) but when they’re used it’s to maximum effect. Certain shots from this movie could be framed.
- For better and worse, a slow burn. Those expecting cheap jump scares will begin yawning in about 20 minutes. But your patience is rewarded. Director and cowriter Charlotte Colbert keeps things deliberate, but you’re never bored even though there are times when you skate right to the edge
What Doesn’t Work With She Will.
- A scene set in a bar reeks of predictability. For most of the film you’ve been nicely off kilter. This scene is telegraphed from the jump and you can see what’s going to happen most of the way through. Until you can’t.
- For better and worse, She Will is leisurely paced. As stated before, those expecting immediate setup and payoff will be disappointed.
If you like witches and revenge and mud, She Will shall make you glad you’re in the comfort of your own home instead of hanging out with Rupert Everett. A slow burn in a mostly positive way.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2022 Noel Penaflor