223 WICK
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 09/20/2022
Production Company: Gravitas Ventures

Alexi Stavrou, Jack Dimich, Dawn Lafferty, and introducing Sergio Myers II.

Director: Sergio Myers. Producers: Melanie Clarke-Penella, Cindy Castro DiRusso, Thomas Sjolund and Pamela Zitello. Executive Producers: Sergio Myers and Eric Vaughan. Screenwriters: Melanie Clarke-Penella and Jess Byard. Cinematographer: Eric Vaughan.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"223 Wick" is a poor excuse for a horror film and misses the mark badly as a Satanic/fantasy thriller. I'm not convinced a bigger budget would have helped its cause, but a better cast and edgier script could have.

Directed by Sergio Myers, who is best known for creating MTV's female docs-series "Sorority Life," producing Viceland's "King of the Road" series and writing for the successful show "E! True Hollywood Story," seems way out of his league with "223 Wick."

This movie is silly, painfully slow and the acting is flat out, "horror-ble."

"223 Wick" is about a young priest, Father Jonathan (Alexi Stavrou, "Antidote") who is a well-liked teacher at St. Vincent Seminary. He is haunted by terrible visions and nightmares that are demonically linked to the strange address "223 Wick."

His worsening episodes are disrupting his teaching and life. So much so, that his dean, Father Murphy (Jack Dimich)-- who looks more like a 1970s pimp than a priest--decides he needs to go to another parish.

Father Jonathan's favorite students, Arthur (Sergio Myers II, "Good Night Tonight") is disappointed that he is leaving, but Father Murphy tells Arthur that it's in his best interest to go.

Father Jonathan's driver arrives, and the priest blurts out that he wants to go to 223 Wick, a building that has been starring in all his strange dreams/visions.

When he arrives, he trips and falls into the building door and cuts his head. A weird looking guy (Greg Pierot, TV's "Kittens in a Cage") greets Father Jonathan and offers to help bandage his bleeding head.

The place looks eerie and when the owner, Kat (Dawn Lafferty, "All Terrain") shows up and gives Father Jonathan a bit of history about the building, which used to be a clandestine meeting place for her grandfather and his friends, that major red flag, flies right past the priest. Maybe that bump on his head has him dazed and confused.

Is this place haunted and possessed? Or is it merely the best old, dilapidated building the film's producers could find that would suit the moment?

Even so, "223 Wick" screenwriters Melanie Clarke-Penella ("Among the Ashes") and Jess Byard ("Worst Christmas Ever"), don't take any daring leaps and provide viewers even a smattering of spine-tingling and suspenseful moments. A painting with an odd eye that opens and shuts, and a demonic voice does little to add to the frightening atmosphere the film attempts to create.

Sometimes, these low budget horror flicks, start out slow and build to a surprising and satisfying finish. That's not the case with "223 Wick."

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at my new times of 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "223 WICK"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 73
Production Company: Screen Gems/Sony
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

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