The Guardian – DVD Review
Exorcist director branches out
Release Date: 17 October 2011
1990 | 18 | 89 minutes | £15.99
Distributor: Second Sight Films
Director: William Friedkin
Cast: Jenny Seagrove, Carey Lowell, Dwier Brown
It may be directed by William “The Exorcist” Friedkin, but you won’t hear Mark Kermode banging on about this evil-nanny horror – with good reason.
It’s based on a script by British horror writer Stephen Volk (Ghostwatch), which Friedkin substantially reworked. The anti-Poppins of the piece, Camilla (a clothes-shy Jenny Seagrove) is a baby-stealing manifestation of an evil tree entity.
It has its moments, principally a bonkers final show-down in which the baby’s father takes on the tree – which bleeds when cut – armed with a chainsaw. Unfortunately, it’s hard to take a movie about an evil tree seriously, and a spoilerific prologue which shows exactly what happened to Camilla’s last young charge saps it of any mystery. Plenty of bark, then, but not much bite.
New interviews with Friedkin, Volk and Seagrove.