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Cast: Anna Walton, Naomi Battrick, Sam Hazeldine

Director: David Keating

Genre: Horror

Rating: NR

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 new hockey coach, Faith has no idea that Sissy is the head of a witches' coven that has resided in her home town of Orchard for centuries. Using the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a bloody ritual, the witches can bring the dead and dying back to life, and when Sissy offers to cure Faith's father, she lures the young woman into a dangerous deal that will leave her fighting for her life.

"Cherry Tree" tells the story of Faith, a 15-year-old school girl who is devastated by the news that her father is dying of leukemia. But her bad news is good news for her new field hockey coach, Sissy who is actually a witch. Sissy approaches Faith with an offer, have a child for her and she will cure Faith's father. Now we all know you can't trust a witch and we all know why she wants Faith to have a child for her but Faith takes the offer anyway in order to save her dad.

I am not going to go into any more plot details here so not to ruin the film for those waiting to see it, instead I will talk about the film itself a bit. As the film opens it gives us a bit of background on the coven of witches and then it wastes no time getting to the story as we are quickly introduced to Faith and a few of her classmates that will play a role in the rest of the story. If "Cherry Tree" has any flaws they are in the script, the plot could have been better and there could have been a bit more back story on Faith, after all she is the main character here. For example Faith lives with her father yet there is never a mention of what happened to her mom, not that it would have had a bearing on the overall story but it would have developed the character of Faith a bit more and in return it would have made it easier for the audience to feel for her.

So in general the plot could have used some work but in the end I was able to forgive the weaknesses because of several things. For starters the film has plenty of gore and the film makes great use of some very nice Practical Effects toward the end and during the film's climax. And lastly the acting, everyone in the film did a fine job but the film's two leads, Naomi Battrick as Faith and Anna Walton as Sissy both give great performances which by it self makes up for the lack in story.

"Cherry Tree" is an import from Ireland and it was directed by David Keating, his last film "Wake Wood" received a lot of critical acclaim. Keating continues to show his expertise behind the camera with his new film. He keeps the film moving at a nice pace and he seems to get the most out of his cast. The film also looks and sounds terrific, it was one of the first things I noticed about it.

So in the end "Cherry Tree" was a flawed film in several areas but for me the good certainly outweighed the bad. The final act made up for the film's weak plot and the final scene really put a smile on my face. So ignore the negative reviews and see the film for yourself, if you like witches and witchcraft then I think you will enjoy "Cherry Tree" as much as I did. The film will be in Theaters and on VOD January 8th so be sure to check it out.

Released by Dark Sky Films

*** 1/2 Out Of *****