Superstition is a horror movie directed by James Roberson in 1982 set in an old house owned by the local parish. A string of weird killings keeps taking place between its walls, leading Reverend Thompson to investigate.
Superstition – Plot
A building in the county of Black Pond has become a theatre of horrible deaths. Reverend David Thompson is doing his best to help the police detective who’s taking care of the investigation, but in the meantime, another reverend with his family arrives in town to take charge of a church that has been abandoned for years and moves into that exact building.
The mysterious events and unexplainable killings continue and a young man with an intellectual disability that lives in the area is deemed responsible, but reverend Thompson will find out that it was actually all at the hands of a witch who was executed in that same place three hundred years prior after promising revenge…
With Superstition, we’re back again on the topic of witchcraft. We already mentioned this movie when talking about Black Sunday and, just like then, this story too is one of revenge with a witch as the main villain. Said witch, sentenced to death, promises his executioners that she will eventually get her revenge.
And that’s where our story begins.
The introduction is a very classic one, the first killings involve some kids that entertain themselves by entering the terrible, cursed house, and predictably end up paying for that with their skin. Not in a pretty way, either. The house, which is owned by the local parish, is then rented out to a new reverend and his family.
More nefarious events, as a matter of fact, already start taking place during the reconstruction work, but the worst of it will happen when the family finally moves into the house.
Elondra Sharack and the Witch’s vendetta
Elondra, played by Carole Goldman, takes the role of the witch. A character that, to be quite honest, we don’t see all that much throughout the movie, at least not in a recognisable way. In fact, the only moment when Goldman’s face is truly visible is during a flashback that tells the story of how the curse came to be.
Here too, just as in Bava’s film, witchcraft is linked to the worship of the devil. The witch doesn’t even try to defend her position and/or to plead innocent, instead, she almost challenges her persecutors by asserting that her power is bigger than that of their God and that, for this reason, they will never succeed in destroying her. In this respect, it’s very interesting to note the interlude about the Spanish inquisition, but we’ll have the opportunity to talk about this subject in different dedicated articles with more in-depth and researched content.
The presence of the witch, in any case, is often noticeable throughout the movie thanks to the soundtrack, doors closing on their own, and, lastly, the hand of the witch, as black as tar, that appears on the screen to take hold of her victims. It’s a fascinating device that differentiates this movie from others of the same kind.
Who is Mary?
A question that will surely come to mind, at this point, especially to those who haven’t seen the film: who is the Mary that also appears in foreign translations of the title? Of course, the original title of the movie (initially called The Witch, and later changed to Superstition in the final version) does not mention this character at all.
The Italian version, in particular, wanted to give specific importance to the character, probably because it is almost immediately evident, and the viewer can definitely tell, that there’s something weird in Mary’s demeanour. Mary is presented as a blond girl that tends to show up here and there throughout the house and one time even speaks to another one of the characters.
The one discordant note is why no one in the movie ever questions where this girl is coming from and where her parents are, why she’s always on her own and how she’s getting into the house. Obviously, the answer to these questions is something that will be revealed later in the movie and that we won’t spoil in this article.
This film can’t really be called excellent but all in all, it is a pretty entertaining example of the horror genre. A good choice for a night on the sofa, possibly with the company of pizza and good friends. Again, in our humble opinion, it is far from a masterpiece, not really scary enough to make you jump in your seat (on the contrary, the witch’s attacks are pretty predictable) but it’s not unwatchable and not unpleasant if you’re a fan of the genre.