Follow TV Tropes


Film / Pyewacket

Go To
Be careful what you wish for. Someone might be listening.

"I invite you to come, Pywacket."
Leah's incantation

Pyewacket is a 2017 Canadian horror thriller film written and directed by Adam MacDonald.

The movie follows Leah Reyes, a girl whose father has recently died, which led to her relationship with her mother deteriorating as both deal with grief in opposing ways, with Leah turning to the occult to feel better and her mother becoming depressed. When her mother can no longer take it, she moves far away from their house, forcing Leah away from her friends. Finally reaching a breaking point, Leah decides to take matters into her own hands by summoning a demon that can kill her mother.



  • Abusive Parents: Subverted. After a nasty argument during which she plays the martyr and says some horribly cruel things to Leah, Mrs Reyes immediately has a Heel Realization and treats her daughter much nicer.
  • Antagonist Title: "Pyewacket" is the name of the demon that Leah has summoned to kill her mother.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A thing even used in the tagline of the movie. Leah soon regrets ever having made the wish for her mother to die.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Mrs Reyes has to be surrounded by memories of her dead husband, which isn't helping the grieving process, and her only coping mechanism is drinking. The move clearly makes her feel better and working from home lessens her stress a little. Plus, Leah was staying out late and getting involved in dangerous habits that would make any parent worry.
    • Advertisement:
    • Leah meanwhile has found a somewhat healthier coping mechanism than her mother...only for that to be taken away without any warning - since her mother decided on the move without even consulting her. Her mother also expected her to immediately transfer schools and acted as though the Pet the Dog of driving her for the remainder of the year was an act of martyrdom.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Due to the death of her father and their ways of coping with it, Leah is often staying out late and sometimes smoking pot with a bad crowd.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin':
    • Janice convincing Leah to smoke pot happens right before she gets traumatized by the demon.
    • Have one nasty argument with your daughter and say some things you regret? A demon will trick your daughter into burning you alive.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The 911 call Leah makes in the woods at the start of the third act comes back to haunt her when it's used to implicate her in the murder of her mother.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In an early scene, Leah goes to a book signing of an occult writer Rowan Dove - and he later provides exposition on what she needs to do to get rid of the demon.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Subverted! Leah is told to repeat the ritual in reverse to get rid of the demon, but she gets interrupted and forgets to do it again.
  • The City vs. the Country: Leah and her mother move from the suburbs to a more rural house up north. Leah's mother prefers it, while Leah does not.
  • Demonic Possession: At one point, Janice and Leah go into the woods, and Janice stares blankly at Leah and starts moving deeper into the woods without saying a word. She turns out to be just joking about it, but the Pyewacket comes for her at night.
  • Downer Ending: The ending implies that Leah has gone insane thinking that her mother is the Pyewacket and sets fire on her and their house. Leah barely survives with a bad burn scar on her face and too catatonic to answer to the questions of the police.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Leah's witch-y friends are appalled by her decision to make a ritual in an attempt to kill her own mother. Rob calls her out on it, and when she calls out he uses spells to try to get girls, he points out how what she did is way worse.
    Rob: You want to kill your own fucking mother! I'm just saying, if it worked, then maybe you deserve it.
    • Leah herself regrets the ritual the very next day and tries to undo the mistake. In fact, everything she does for the rest of the movie is out of a desire to protect her mother.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Leah enacts a ritual in a fit of rage, and ends up being manipulated into killing her own mother.
  • Faking the Dead: The Pyewacket pretends to be the corpse of Leah's mother, to make the girl doubt what's real and what isn't.
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: Ever since the death of her father, Leah has become a goth, and has started studying the occult, which she says comforts her. Her new group of friends seem to all know rituals and practice magic.
  • Goths Have It Hard: Leah has a dead father and a strained relationship with her mother. Subverted with her Goth friend Janice - who has easy going parents and no apparent baggage.
  • Heel Realization: After discovering Leah with an apparent self-harm wound, Mrs Reyes realises how hard she's been on her. The fact that this happens directly after Leah enacts the ritual just adds to the latter's guilt.
  • Hourglass Plot: Leah is initially doing well enough at the start of the film, while her mother is an alcoholic grieving mess. After the move, her mother is much happier and more functional - while Leah becomes more dysfunctional.
  • Kill It with Fire: Leah becomes convinced she has to kill the demon by dousing it in gasoline and setting the house on fire. It turns out it wasn't the demon at all.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Leah is the occult-obsessed moody Dark to her mother's blonde perky Light.
  • Living Shadow: The Pyewacket shows up at night in the form of the shadow of a woman that is capable of floating.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Leah regrets the ritual instantly, and spends the whole film terrified about what might happen.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Mrs Reyes finds her daughter with a bleeding wound on her arm and assumes she's been cutting herself.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We never find out what Janice saw...but she is clearly traumatized.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Subverted. The move to up north allows Mrs Reyes to work completely from home. She does take two hours out of her day to drive Leah to and from school, but when Janice stays over, she says she'll be doing some more work - suggesting she's making up the time in the evening.
  • Parents as People: Discussed in an early scene, where Janice wonders if their parents will ever stop being their parents. The film itself shows Mrs Reyes as a mostly good person who's just overwhelmed by grief.
  • Perky Goth: Leah has a charismatic best friend called Janice, who is very outgoing and energetic.
  • Pet the Dog: After initially trying to make Leah transfer schools, her mother offers a compromise where she can drive Leah to her current school for the remainder of the year.
  • Self-Made Orphan: The Pyewacket tricks Leah into doing this - making her think it's impersonating her mother.
  • Shapeshifter: The Pyewacket looks like a terrifyingly pale woman with dark hair and features. However, she is capable of shifting into the form of Leah's mother.
  • Spiritual Successor: The film could be considered a Darker and Edgier version of Brave - involving a strained relationship between a mother and daughter with polar opposite personalities, and the daughter invoking supernatural help to punish the mother and regretting it immediately.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Leah takes after her father in looks, and that just adds to her mother's grief.
  • Tempting Fate: In a fight with Leah, Mrs Reyes compares her to a "Manson girl". Leah ends up summoning a demon to kill her.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Mrs Reyes mellows out a lot after the move, and shares several nice moments with her daughter.
  • Villain Protagonist: Played with. Leah is the one to summon a demon to kill her own mother, but there's still a lot to sympathize with her, mainly her grief over losing her father and moving away from her friends, and the fact she regretted doing it not long after.
  • Voice Changeling: In the movie's final act, Leah's mother is dead, and something with her voice is calling Leah's name from the woods. Then it turns out the person calling out to her is her actual mother, and the body she found in the woods was the Pyewacket.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out exactly what happened to Janice or how she's doing after the demon scares her.