I had originally been interested in The Witch, from a few spots that I had seen online. I actually thought that this would have been more of a Dogme 95 type film and I was mistaken. But that's not a bad thing. I was also allured by the interesting setting and amazing cinematography. It appears to be a really pretty movie.
The setting is New England in 1630. A puritanical family is banished from their village and forced to live on a farm out deep into the dark and ominous forest. The family is quite large. A husband and wife with five children, a dog named Valor, a large goat named Black Phillip and various other farm animals. Something sinister is lurking around the family. Children start getting abducted and the family starts straining. Chatter of a witch starts. Could a witch be doing all of this? Creating such havoc in these people's lives.
This movie is beautifully shot and incredibly frightening. The lighting is dramatic and foreboding but completely natural. In fact the only light in dark shots comes from candles and lanterns. It's an amazing effect given the period of the story. The acting is spot-on and the characters are all very authentic feeling.
If you were expecting a slasher or jump-scares then you will be sorely disappointed. This movie has neither. It's just a dark and negative film that just creates an ugly and dirty world. A world that has past but was very real. Director Robert Eggers viewed this film as more of a personal project and put in extensive research while making it. It shows.
The Witch: A New-England Folktale is a fantastic horror movie. I highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for something different to watch. This isn't appropriate for kids and might not hold the interest of the casual film fan. However, if you like good film. If you want to be terrified. Then check it out. Quite possibly one of the best horror movies of 2015.
Rodrigo Teixeira, Daniel Bekerman, Lars Knudsen and Jodi Redmond
Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie and Harvey Scrimshaw
Parts and Labor, Rooks Nest Entertainment, RT Features
January 27, 2015
Did ya Know:
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.