THE WITCH (2016)

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
review


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

Grade: B

GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE (2021)

Directed By: Navot Papushado 
Written By: Navot Papushado & Ehud Lavski
Cinematography: Michael Seresin
Editor: Nicolas De Toth

Cast: Karen Gillian, Lena Headey, Paul Giamatti, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino, Chloe Coleman, Ralph Ineson, Michael Smiley, Adam Negaitis 

Three generations of women fight back against those who could take everything from them.


The film Plays like pop art to please the masses full Of neon coloring. As it takes a bunch of action film narratives and tries to splice them All together with some nods to film noir.

It strangely comes off kind of dull but very colorful. As we watch, trying to figure out what movie caused this scene’s inspiration. 

The action sequences are inspired and what the film depends on. As well as its Tarantino-inspired dialogue and quirkiness.

The film also like JOHN WICK tries to world build, unfortunately, it barely gives us a chance to know the characters or what is going on before a heavy emphasis on this. Which can lead to confusion early on.

Even if it more feels like HOTEL ARTEMIS with Its Rogue galleries of criminals, organizations, killers, doctors, clinics, and dealers. Though again John wick-ish with this network of criminals and yet also POINT BLANK with its organization that rules most of the underworld business. 

Just as the DRIVE inspired jacket she wears throughout 

While giving a more female-oriented point of view of the action in these types of films with a recognizable cast. Visually the film has all that it takes and is truly a style over substance but with an increasing degree when it comes to Netflix films it seems rather contained than open. Even as it works well with what it has. 

As the story is far from simple for this type of film as the action seems to follow and seems to only. Be confusing because it needs a reason to have an action sequence. 

The problem is that with all of this it still comes off limp and surprisingly a little dull. It’s like a meal that has food coloring nice to look at but ultimately something you have had before and are used to. 

As even the score tries to use Sergio Leone-inspired music or random pop hits more to fit the action sequences than anything.  Not necessarily adding anything to the emotional more like the director just thought it would be nice if this song played during this sequence. No real new meaning except for some irony.

Just as Karen Gillian is fine in the lead but is left with nothing to make her stand out. She comes off as having the skills but is pretty bland and one-note. She, unfortunately, stand out the least amongst the cast.

The only spark of originality other than color scheme comes for. The library and librarians were played by Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, and Carla Gugino. They are a nice breath of fresh air. Where the most impressive action sequence takes place. Also, the clinic is A cute sequence as well as the diner. 

Also the organization’s three henchmen they send to take her out up a challenge but seem pretty bad to be exclusive assassins. They come across as more muscle or thugs that would be back up or the type assassins have to do clean up Or dirty work for or Vice versa. Like a wrecking crew destroying and making a mess.  so that there is no evidence 

The villains offer no personality, only a stereotypical look of either Eastern European stereotypes or well-suited goons and backup men.  

It’s also a film that feels like it’s trying too hard. It wants to stand out from the rest which is understandable, but by trying too hard to be like the others or those that came before it Lacks its own individual personality and feels like a loser, and ultimately Proves to be about nothing 

It’s obviously a movie for a more mainstream audience looking. For an action escape and it works on that level but doesn’t offer anything new or original mist some nice dressing. As it definitely is more commercial and slick but offers nothing of depth. Like a best seller with no actual good writing just a story to work off of And try to live up to fill in the blanks 

Grade: C-