The Web of the Witch | Chicago Reader

The Web of the Witch

Kids can handle a lot more than we think, but this nightmarish Indian production—complete with claw-fingered abductions, bowls of blood, and a homicidal butcher—might appeal more to the Dario Argento set. A spunky young troublemaker is forced to confront the evil lurking on the outirts of her village after her sister is turned into a hen and scheduled for slaughter; rational debunkers of superstition make a late-inning comeback, but the damage is long done. Vishal Bhardwaj makes his debut as a writer and director following several years' experience as a film scorer; as in many Bollywood features, there are a few song-and-dance numbers, with lyrics that wouldn't be out of place in Sweeney Todd (“The night sniffs fresh blood as it wanders like a jackal”). With veteran actress Shabana Azmi (also a member of the Indian parliament) as the witch. In Hindi with subtitles. 90 min.

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