While I have been spending a lot of time inside the world of Shudder recently, I still had one movie that I had to finish before completing my latest run through Family Video. What movie is that? It was the 2015 witchcraft themed entry Cherry Tree.
Plot/ Faith's world is turned upside down after she finds out that her beloved father is dying. When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young becomes her field hockey coach, Faith finds a compassionate spirit and much-needed mother figure. Little does she know that Sissy is the head of a centuries-old witches' coven that uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying.
When I picked this one out, I did not quite realize that I was in for a modernization (yet loose interpretation) of the classic Rosemary’s Baby. While it is not a quite a total copy of the classic, it definitely takes a large portion of the storyline from that source material. Unfortunately, it also does little to set it apart from many of the other witchcraft themed pieces that have come out in recent years. The story starts slow, picks up, and shows some potential before the problems start to cascade. More of an exploitation themed entry than anything scary, the scripting, and performances are uneven, and there is no atmosphere. Yes, there are some moments that could be shocking to some, but those are few and far between. In the end, this movie will likely fall into the love/hate category of films and will not be for everyone. Personally, I found it at least a little interesting, but then again, I am a sucker for witchcraft and the occult.