Conjurer (DVD Review)2 Nov, 2008 By: Matt Miller
Prebook 11/3/08; Street 11/25/08
Stars John Schneider, Maxine Bahns, Andrew Bowen.
Conjurer is a slow, creepy Southern ghost tale about a young couple that flees the big city to recover from a tragic event only to find themselves battling each other and supernatural elements after moving into a haunted farmhouse.
Following the devastating loss of their stillborn baby, talented photographer Shawn (Bowen) and his wife, Helen (Maxine), head to her brother’s old farmhouse to get their lives back in order. While Helen is at home in the country, Shawn has a sense of uneasiness from the moment they step foot on the property and he sets his eyes on an old, ominous cabin that has the locals spooked.
Instead of getting back to his photography, Shawn spends his time obsessing over the cabin and the town’s legend about a witch who once occupied it and put a curse on anyone who sets foot on the land. The relentless torment brings up issues from Shawn’s troubled past that sends him into a schizophrenic rage.
In the end, Shawn’s sanity is put to the test as he tries to save his family and fight off the evil spirits that might just all be in his head.
Conjurer is a smart, at times sexy, independent thriller loaded with amazing cinematography and eerie storytelling. It’s a powerful ghost tale that forgoes the cheap scares of a traditional horror flick, instead taking the higher road to create an original, chilling supernatural frightfest.
The film features solid acting from Bowen (“ER” and “Mad TV”) and Bahns (She’s the One and Brothers McMullen) as the leads and Schneider (Bo from “Dukes of Hazzard”) as Helen’s cunning brother.
Conjurer also has had a successful run as an official selection at several U.S. film festivals, even capturing the best feature film award at the 2008 Dixie Film Festival.