The Witch in the Window

There is nothing more haunting than our relationships with other people, our regrets at how we have failed the people we love. Perhaps that is why haunting horror movies often fail to unnerve me. Ghosts have nothing on our own psychological demons. Yet when the two can run in parallel, the movie creates dimensional and relatable horror.

The Witch in the Window accomplished just that for me. Simon (Alex Draper) purchases a charming country house. He tells his somewhat estranged son that he intends to flip the house, but truthfully, he hopes to offer his ex-wife her dream home to reunite his family. Like all good real estate deals, the house is too good to be true, as Simon and his son learn it is already occupied by the spirit of a woman said to be a witch who lingers in the upstairs window.

The simple haunting story of the witch would never have engaged me enough. However, layered upon the parental issues, the two types of haunting leverage each other and are enhanced in the duality. The experience with the witch ultimately developed both the characters and their familial bond, and that aspect of the movie intrigued me independent of the horror.

As far as the horror, the film could have benefited from more intensity. The witch is creepy, and the suspense is unnerving, but it could have used a few good punches. I wanted to gasp; I wanted to cringe.

The Witch in the Window is simplistic in the best way but also effective with its multiple dimensions of haunting. And it has a wonderful, poetic ending.


Christina Bergling