The original Warlock is an underrated 80s horror cult classic. The sequel, Warlock: The Armageddon wasn’t bad but it disappointed by comparison. You can check out both of my reviews for them here & here. I’ve been avoiding it but the time has come to have a look at the third & final film in the franchise, Warlock III: The End of Innocence. Releasing direct to video in 1999, it was directed by Eric Freiser.
Unlike the first two Warlock movies, End of Innocence does not star Julian Sands as the demonic sorcerer. Instead, Bruce Payne takes on the role.
Kris (Ashley Laurence) is haunted by strange visions of her past. She has no real knowledge of her childhood but still manages to have a normal life. One day, a historian informs her that she has inherited a family house. Kris decides to visit the vast property and stay the night. While there, she experiences a number of odd events. She attempts to flee but is stopped when her friends surprise her with the intention of staying with her.
Soon after, a charismatic man named Phillip Covington turns up at the door. He poses as an architect that is interested in the house. Later, the historian arrives and is immediately sceptical of Covington. Not only that but he has some important letters for Kris that we written by her mother. Covington kills the historian, strangling him using magic and then tearing his throat out with his bare hands. He takes the letters and blows on them, setting them alight.
Covington then plays psychological games with Kris and her friends. Eventually, it’s is revealed that he wishes to complete a ritual that he had attempted and failed centuries ago. Kris has the blood of a witch coursing through her veins. This makes her compatible to have the soul of a demon exchanged with her own.
Can she survive the Warlock?
Shock of the century, Warlock III: The End of Innocence isn’t very good. Firstly, Julian Sands is a big miss. However, Bruce Payne is the best aspect of this film. He’s genuinely charismatic and has an alluring nature. Unfortunately, his performance is wasted on this trash.
As this released in the 90s, it has that cheesy cheapness that feels synonymous with many horror movies that came out in that decade. Warlock III is like an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer but one of the really bad ones. It’s intensely slow paced with far too many long winded scenes of Kris and her friends just sitting around talking, eating etc. Calling it boring feels like an understatement. The characters are generic, just a total waste of time.
The basic core of the story isn’t actually too bad but it’s handled poorly. I was hoping it might stray into so bad that its good territory but sadly not. The film takes itself way too seriously, a huge shame. The effects range from passable to horrendous.
The worst aspect of Warlock III: The End of Innocence is the jarring cinematography. It’s seriously headache inducing. Couple that with lots of strobing lights, bad 90s music & an annoying overused eagle sound effect.
Finally, the performances are serviceable. However, the actor who plays Michael is terrible. There is one scene where he is burning alive and he barely reacts.
The ending is all sorts of confusing. I was going to list my many questions and point out the errors but what’s the point?
Warlock III: The End of Innocence