Pyewacket ★★★★

"Parents are people too."

Pyewacket, the sophomore effort from Adam MacDonald, is a solid entry into the recent wave of "parental paranormal" films like The Babadook, The Devil's Candy, and Ouija: Origin of Evil. The film is centered on the rocky relationship between Leah, an angsty teen, and her mother, and while the characters and story beats are familiar, the performances by Nicole Muñoz (Leah), her mother (Laurie Holden) and the supporting cast do just enough in order to get this film to stick its landing.  Its greatest strength is the cinematography (Christian Bielz) and while there are some clear homages (or theft, depending on your perspective) to Raimi in this film, just like Raimi, MacDonald does beautifully with a modest budget.  There are also some not so subtle allusions to Crime and Punishment, which is thematically linked to its narrative.

This film probably won't surprise you, but I found myself entertained throughout its brisk (88 min) run time and look forward to seeing what MacDonald does next.