Written & Directed By: Robert Eggers
Cinematography By: Jarin Blaschke
Editor: Louise Ford
Production Design: Craig Lathrop
Art Direction: Andrea Kristof
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Kate Dickie, Ralph Ineson, Harvey Scrimshaw, Julian Richings, Viv Moore, Sarah Stephens
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this
New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. ‘The Witch’ is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.
The premise is based on America’s first witch hysteria in colonial New England, set 62 years before the infamous “Salem Witch Trials” which occurred in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
This is one of those films that is more rewarding the less you know about it. So you are free to discover instead of coming in with perceived notions. Stephen King has stated that he was terrified by this film.
This is a film that takes you by surprise. As it is more atmospheric filmmaking. That feels more accomplished than half the horror films that are offered today.
The film focuses more on community and character. So that it stays intimate the whole time.
The film builds itself up. So that you have to pay attention to exactly know and understand what is going on.
The film sets itself up and its own limits. It takes its time, as this is not a film of jump scares and theatrics. It is trying to tell a story so it won’t offer answers immediately that we know and they have to figure out. When it makes a move it is playing for keeps. As the film is more haunting than scary. As it gives you a sense of unease the whole time.
It continuously goes where you don’t expect it. Especially when you believe you have things figured out and it seems it will go that way. If it does get too familiar the film seems to then go to the more physical actions of the characters as they begin to uncontrollably tremble and weep in their weakness that is never clearly defined.
The film is a period piece and as well as sets and costumes even the dialogue is more said in olden speak than natural dialogue. Which only helps the actors as they are so dedicated to their performances. They are so strong you believe them, their situations, and their reactions to them. Even the child actors’ performances are great and feel natural.
Most of the film’s dialogue and story were based on writings from the time. It feels like a film of its time period. This film seems dipped in tradition and truth as it scarily reveals itself and its nature. It isn’t so much thrilling. It is more full of ideas and imagination. The work of a skilled hand filmmaker. That seems more rooted in the type of films of the ’70s that could be ambiguous and make us question more. Then set out to give the audience visceral thrills. The film was mostly filmed in natural and available light which helps give a natural Spookiness to it
This is a film that uses nature more to reinforce the atmosphere and to provide the horrors of the film. That produces a calm whiny film that never settles again after s certain point in the film.
The movie is beautifully filmed on a smaller scale. Though making the simple and expected scary and haunted. While offering many misdirections, but feels immersed In Something sinister. As when all is revealed it feels worse than anything they could have shown us or that we could imagine and not with pyrotechnics or make-up but with hints that seem more plausible and homegrown. Whose reality is easily imagined and can be felt which makes it all the more devastating. This is a film unafraid to go to the places most mainstream cinema wouldn’t or would shy away from.
The Satanic Temple has endorsed this movie and hosted several screenings of the film. Their spokesperson, Jex Blackmore, addressed the film as “an impressive presentation of Satanic insight that will inform contemporary discussion of religious experience.”
The film manages to give a fresh meaning of horror that feels like a festering Underneath its surface.
It also takes a while to get there but once we do, we get the whole scope of events and what they mean.
The film, unfortunately, was a minor hit at first through strong word of mouth, but audiences expected a more traditional horror film and weren’t prepared for this film which takes it times with its horror and fully takes advantage and explores the ideas it spills forth