Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County (2016 Lifetime)
Cast: Hayley Palmaer, Nicole Rodenburg, Caleb Carlson
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Starring Hayley Palmaer and Evangeline Young. When a reality TV show begins production in rural Ohio, a group of Amish women seek help from the crew to document the inexplicable paranormal events that have plagued them.
The movie really leans into a Blair Witch Vibe, starting with a warning about “found footage” for a reality TV show filmed in an Amish town in Holmes County, Ohio. The movie is filmed in a first-person view, it adds no value to the movie and only serves to muddy up the story.
Conor, Will, Dave, and Katie Ann head to Ohio to film a reality show. They meet with an Amish man named Isaac. He tells them that the Bishop bans photography, and they must hide their cameras and tattoos. (Markings of the beast.) They will be filming in secret.
While filming, the camera crew come across an Amish Witch house named Rebecca and her appearance Iva. Issac doesn’t let them film the house because she is banished from the community. The interview some Amish girls named Ester and Ruthie. Ester comes from a long line of Amish Witches and keeps her witchcraft a secret.
Rebecca, the Amish Witch, is Esther’s grandmother, and she passes away. Since she is shunned, the Bishop will not all for a traditional burial. Esther and her friends move into the house to help take care of the body. The reality show cameras follow. Strange things start happening in the Amish Witch house. Sounds in the night, handprints, and a visitor with a baby in the middle of the night.
The burial happens, and The Bishop doesn’t show up to bless the ceremony. That’s too bad because a scary scarecrow shows up, and a pentagram appears on the walls. An Amish Witch from Indiana is found hanging from a tree. The reality crew cameras record the scene, but the body is gone when they come back with the Amish girls. They can’t go to the Bishop because then he will know about the unauthorized filming.
Issac and Esther are hooking up on the down-low.
After some MORE strange things happen to the camera crew, they set up surveillance cameras (with night mode) all over the house. (Think Big Brother with Amish people!)
Through the night, the camera crew waits to review the footage. Cue, a lot of stupid “found footage” shots of women sleeping and doors slamming. I think one of them even run around with a lantern. Ruthie sneaks out in the middle of the night and tampers with the cameras. She is the number one suspect for the nefarious things happening.
The Bishop FINALLY shows up and calls Esther a witch and condemns her. Ruthie narced on her and told the Bishop about the filming.
The Amish women unbury Rebecca’s body. Then some BAD BAD BAD CGI ghost show up and starts killing the Amish. A lot of people die, but Esther and Conor survive. They meet in a cafe to talk. Esther is in out of Amish garb because she defected and is shunned. I’m sorry, I don’t care about the end of this movie. Just skip it.
Here is the Bustle article debunking the “True Story” claim
Minority Report: None
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*Photo Credit: © 2016 Lifetime
It looks like it was all made up. The camera work was just too conveniently set up and lit. Amish would be speaking to each other in their language, not English.