I started off half interested in Cherry Tree. I wasn't all in. I didn't quite know if we were looking at another jump scare occult flick or if it had roots. The movie evolved nicely turning from what could have been a carbon copy of the recent demon baby trend into something darker and more original. That it is even a true occult film is not immediately evident, but by the time it emerges from generic it has you powerless and captured.
You won't expect the brilliant practical effects that come out later in the movie. They're absolutely worth waiting for and really act as a voice for the Horror community that wants more latex and silicone and less computer generated effects. Strangely enough, the most successful and effective occult Horror pictures as of late have been practically effected. Deathgasm, Starry Eyes and Demon's Rook really stand out as effective efforts though I would say that they differ in tone. Each of these pictures as been successful on some level, and each one highlights a new talent in the genre of which we must see more. I suppose that the use of practical effects proves that the zombie set isn't the only subgenre that can work on an independent film budget while getting maximum value out of the makeup.
I enjoyed the performances of each actor and while there is certainly some melodrama and overacting at times, that's almost the hallmark of the occult movie. Insane reactions that are really overreactions that succeed with eyes bulging, breath taken in hyperventilation and hammy performances that sell the son of Satan to the world. It's this type of performance that makes this particular genre quotable. It's why we remember Rosemary's Baby.
Cherry Tree is well shot and looks great in HD. The disc comes with a trailer and a making of featurette that is quite enjoyable. I was especially happy with the amount of time spent looking at the effect/makeup creation. I felt like I was watching a making of from 1988 and was excited to see how they put some of the end game together.
This isn't a demon baby movie. You don't have to worry about found footage or POV as a story telling vehicle. There are really two kinds of occult movies being made today. Those that try to capitalize on Rosemary's Baby with a modern take on the Anti-Christ and those that try to be like Devil's Rain, filled with covens trying to bring damnation to the Earth while launching an assault on humanity filled with charismatic cult leaders and well orchestrated rituals (and clever creature creation if you're lucky). Cherry Tree is closer to Devil's Rain. It's a story that will make you yell Hail Satan in your living room while rooting for the lead in the same breath.
Order you copy of Cherry Tree now.
From Dark Sky Films:
A YOUNG WOMAN LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE TO SAVE HER FATHER FINDS A SAVIOR, BUT THE COST MAY BE MORE THAN SHE CAN BEAR
The Disturbing New Horror Film From the Director of 'Wake Wood' Comes to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on April 5, 2016
Evil takes root in the most unexpected place in CHERRY TREE, an original and deeply disturbing film about a desperate young woman drawn into a world of horror from which there may be no escape. From the director of the acclaimed Wake Wood, the film comes ONE EYED GIRL, a gripping and award-winning debut film about a young man drawn to a cult-like sect. The thriller comes to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on April 5, 2016.
Faith's (Naomi Battrick, Crossing Lines, Stonemouth) world is turned upside down after she finds out that her beloved father is dying. When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young (Anna Walton, Reign, Hellboy II: The Golden Army) 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 has resided in her hometown of Orchard for centuries. The coven uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a bloody secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying.
Offering to cure her father in exchange for a child, Sissy strikes a dangerous bargain with Faith, who suddenly finds herself pregnant with a baby that's growing at an alarming rate. But with the clock to the child's birth ticking down and the true intention of Sissy's plans for humanity becoming more apparent, Faith and her father must stand together in order to save both their lives.
CHERRY TREE is the sexy, gory and haunting new film by David Keating, the critically acclaimed director of Wake Wood, and the producers of The Hallow and Let Us Prey. A deeply satisfying shocker that boldly brings elements of Rosemary's Baby and Suspiria into a new cinematic era,CHERRY TREE was an official selection at the 2015 Fantasia Film Festival and FrightFest.