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Plot:

New England, 1630: William and Katherine try to 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 sins, leaving them prey for an inconceivable evil.

Also Known As: La Bruja, The VVitch: A New-England Folktale, The VVitch, Вещицата, La sorcière, A Bruxa, Czarownica: Bajka ludowa z Nowej Anglii, Czarownica, Vještica, Η μάγισσα, Vrajitoarea, The Witch, Veštica: Narodna Priča Nove Engleske, Čarodějnice Czech, La bruja: Una leyenda de Nueva Inglaterra, La bruja, Ведьма, Veštica: Narodna Priča Nove Engleske Bosnia and, A boszorkány, The Witch - Vuoi ascoltare una favola?, Вештерката Republic of, Vještica Bosnia and

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26 Comments

  • univ-prof-sille-iversen
    univ prof sille iversen

    I am constantly confused by people who highly praise films which are simply poor. I think critics are particularly known for doing this but the general public are also guilty of it. It is almost like hipsters who try to like things that most people don’t so they can look or sound different to everyone else and I’m getting sick of it. Rotten tomatoes has rated this film with a 90, a goddamn 90! Another good example to compare this with is Babadook which is one of the worst movies I have seen in a long time but it was awarded 98! Am I going crazy or is it me who fails to realise how good or bad a movie is? I understand that people have differing tastes but there has to be a limit. The Witch has good ideas running through it but they are poorly executed. The majority of the time I felt like I was waiting for something to actually happen. People explain this as being tension, I explain it as being boring and underwhelming. Not once was I scared or felt tense. When something did actually happen it just wan’t done very well. The acting wasn’t as bad as in Babadook but it was certainly questionable. There were moments where I had to cringe at how bad the acting was. I could really tell I was watching a film rather than believing the story and characters it involved.This was the type of film which certainly had the possibility of being great but due to choice of actors, choice of director and the unexciting plot it failed miserably.

  • michael-hebert
    michael hebert

    For start, if you are looking for something like the Blair Witch Project or anything that has an unsteady camera and ‘lost footage’, this is not the film for you.If you are looking for something gory and jump out of your seat scary, this isn’t the film for you.This is a film that sets a eerie mood, similar to “The Shining”. We have a Puritan Family banished from their plantation and forcing them out into the world on their own.Set in 1630, this film uses the same dialect of the time, and the beliefs are the same. If you are someone who struggles with religion, this movie also may not be something of interest to you. This film delves into the loss of faith, both figuratively and literally, as a series of events unfold.It is interesting to see the family’s journey on how they descend into their fates, and you are left wondering and questioning many things: A sign of a very well written film.WARNING: If you are hard of hearing, I would highly recommend you wait until this film is available on DVD with captioning. The actors all have accents and even I had trouble understanding what they were saying (add to that the way they spoke in that time period).The Witch to me, is a brilliantly shot (natural lighting and using a different aspect ratio to get the sense of isolation), well acted and fascinatingly told. It is a simple story that leaves a big impact, if you are looking for an eerie, haunting film that will make you think. If you are looking for something to scare you and gross you out, you will be disappointed.

  • robert-juarez
    robert juarez

    I have vociferously devoured horror films for over 30 years of my life. Simply put, this is one of the few movies that made me want my time back. Find another title (heck, go back and re-watch an old favourite) rather than waste your time. Not sure why this gets the praise it has received. Very slow and obvious plot. Some terrible acting (save for perhaps the lead character daughter who in spite of her performance cannot save this film). Ridiculous dialog. Saving graces were the soundtrack and atmosphere (wherein a creepy film should have been quite was to bring forward). I was compelled to write this to balance all of the praise I see here which needs to be offset by an honest eye for actual entertainment value. I know some will disagree, but I tell you in advance that you will get to bed early with this one on late at night…

  • naomi-d-amico
    naomi d amico

    SPOILER!I was optimistic before watching this, its been rated quite highly on most sites, but after watching it i was disappointed. Firstly, i must say the filming of this was really good, everything was set up great, but it lacked the follow up from the suspense the camera angles and sounds created. The language used in this was sometimes difficult to understand what was being said, as one point, the mother was in the house after mourning her child who had just died, and i literally could not understand a word she said for about 20 seconds. There’s a goat ‘Black Philip’ and the twin children ‘speak’ to him. I found this a little creepy, but didn’t really make much sense – i mean as to why the family had him, why they were talking to him, and why they didn’t tell anyone exactly what he was saying. Fast forward, and it turns out the goat is the devil…. i thought this was really strange, it made no real sense, along with the rest of the film!Overall this film is quite boring, and the story line doesn’t make sense at all. Things don’t add up, or lead on properly, so when you think of an outcome for a certain event, you can almost guarantee it will not be that. There were some good elements to this film as i mentioned, the filming of it; and there were a few jumpy bits, but nothing that really scared me or questioned anything further. The only question i had after i finished this film was ‘What on earth was that all about?’ I had to look online to see what the story line even was, and what key events meant within the film. It was a mega anti-climax. I wouldn’t waste my time watching this again!

  • sharon-rocha
    sharon rocha

    First and foremost, this is not a horror. In no way does this fall under the criteria of the horror genre. It is not a psychological thriller either. There is nothing thrilling, psychological, horrific, disturbing, or scary about this movie.There is nothing to figure out, like you’d expect in a psychological thriller. There is nothing that plays mind games on you. Just pure, boring, dull dialog.If you go into this expecting anything other than simply watching people live a long time ago, don’t go. If you’d like to see a family simply existing, with about 4 minutes worth of witch related (not full blown witch scenes either) content, go see this.Playing Oregon Trail back in the day was scarier and more psychologically thrilling than this movie. Plus, the dialog was better.

    • lol
      lol

      BULLSHIT…you bitch didnt even watch the movie if you write stuff like that

  • theodor-gheorghiu
    theodor gheorghiu

    The trailer for this film is intense,scary,and thrilling. I was more than excited to see this on the big screen. Thinking back now I’m pretty sure there was a misrepresentation of dialogue in the trailer. No big deal,right? Wrong! I do not understand their English tongue. I had to focus all the will power I have in my body to catch enough of it to make a comprehensible sentence. Even with all that concentration I may have caught about 50% out what was said. Meanwhile, my friend in the movie theater must of thought I was really into it because he kept looking over and asking what was going on. With a title of Witch I kind of expected to see a movie with a witch in it. Wait for it….. there’s a bunny, there’s a goat, there’s even a hot chick in a cabin in the woods, but sadly there no Witch.Let’s talk a little bit about the family bickering. Have you ever seen Area 407? At some point in the near future you kind of just want everyone to die and the movie would just end. That would have been a good story… At least a better story than whatever the heck that was. Prayers, yelling, prayers, bickering, prayers, screaming. By the end I was praying that God would just end the movie. Multiple points in the movie the screen would go black in-between scenes and every time I was hoping to see the end credits. I would gather up all my stuff just to have to see more. Unfortunately the end couldn’t have come soon enough.

  • courtney-henry
    courtney henry

    What shall I saith to thee!! First I barely understood what they were saying. The beginning had some potential, was the daughter a witch? Did the twins do something? Then somewhere in between all this nonsense, the black goat was the evil entity, for a lack of a better word. I don’t know if the producer, director or writer took too much acid before finishing the movie. There is really no words to describe what I just watched. All I know is if I could bleach out my eyes, and my brain I would. When I looked at the reviews here at IMDb, and the trailer, I thought well this could be a good horror movie. WRONG in every sense of the word. Those who gave it positive reviews were taking the same acid that the producer, director and writer took. I have so wasted an hour and half of my life, that I can NEVER get back. IF you decide to watch this after reading my warning, watch it at your own risk.

  • piotr-mlodzik
    piotr mlodzik

    Yep, this studio suckered us into believing this was a slow-burn horror movie that would sit alongside Rosemary’s Baby in the horror canon. I assure you, this movie won’t even be discussed a year from now. This was a no-burn drama with pretty visuals, good acting, no story, and dialogue that was 60% unintelligible. Pure style over substance. I see a lot of reviews babbling on about religious/feminist symbolism blah blah blah. Problem is none of this matters without story and character. So much great indie horror that never gets a wide theatrical release (Starry Eyes, Babadook, V/H/S, Excision I could of course go on and on) and Hollywood gives us this. I am boycotting all future Robert Eggers movies as he was complicit in this scam. But what do he and the studio care? By the time bad word of mouth sinks this movie and it leaves the theaters after week 2, they will be depositing their 20mil in the bank. Spoiler Alert: As to the plot, it is as follows. A sexy witch in the woods scares this family in a cabin and they go mad and mostly kill each other (maybe because of Calvinism and misogyny and stuff). Then a bunch of witches float in the final scene. Shortly thereafter the movie ended, and someone yelled “refund”. I went home mad.

  • joeunyeong
    joeunyeong

    This is more of a historical psychological thriller than a Hollywood blood and guts horror film.The film is a loving and accurate recreation of Puritan New England in the 1600s with everything from the language to the sets being authentic to the period. That in and of itself makes it fascinating to watch. Having lived in Virginia, where the Jamestown Settlement and the 1600s sometimes can seem like they happened the day before yesterday, I especially enjoyed the film. The location, in Ontario, reminded me of rural Virginia in winter, which made me quite homesick. So the film might have affected me more than some other audience members.The Witch is a fascinating glimpse into Christianity as practiced by 17th century Puritans. Satan and Evil are almost tangible presences in the woods and wilderness of the New World, while God is a distant, cold, and demanding being who must be constantly begged for forgiveness and mercy, since all human thoughts, words, and deeds seem to be gravely sinful and offensive to his eyes. A family of seven (parents, four children, and an infant) are exiled from their plantation community for not adhering to the accepted interpretation of scripture. They build a farm at a distance from the plantation near a frightening wood. The farm is failing (the family won’t have food to last the winter). Meanwhile, the infant has been snatched from the oldest daughter while in her care at the edge of the wood. From this point on the family either descends into madness or is destroyed by Satan in the form of a witch who lives nearby in the woods. How the family’s disintegration is interpreted will depend on which century’s point of view you choose to use.

  • dr-john-aguirre
    dr john aguirre

    ((Disclaimer: Contains all sorts of spoilers))Ever wondered where all those wretched creatures who lived solitary lives centuries ago at the edge of towns or deep in the woods came from? All the lonely (and dangerously insane) people known as witches and wizards, were nothing but the stray teenagers, or the stray housewives, driven totally insane by the accumulating sensations of guilt and fear encouraged by the morbid interpretations of the “Gospel of Love” which were common only a few centuries ago. Or so claims this wonderful marvel of psychoanalysis. social criticism, and cinematic excellence.Witch is neither your average boogieman flick, nor the latest trick in survival horror, where the beast (in this case dear Ol’Georgie himself) hunts the hapless victims one by one. It is a much bigger offering than that; an art movie that mastered all the commercial tricks of survival horror, and hid within them a potent social message. The movie’s controlling idea is simple: The prevailing human desire to seek reassurance from a higher power can easily be twisted by ignorance, superstition, psychological insecurities and a horrendous misinterpretation of religion into a culture of self-flogging that nurtures guilt and fear until they become invincible beasts, then lets them lose on the mind to devour it whole. The result of this scary process is a flock of pariahs, known by the fancy, superstitious name of “witches” who live on the peripheries of society, devoid of any means of compassion, stripped of all sanity and civility, living in a world of morbid fantasies and diseased hallucinations in which they are left defenseless to their auto-cannibalistic minds that devour their sanity. The movie camera never assumes, for a second, that the supernatural aspect of the story (AKA the devil and his incarnations) doesn’t exist except in the disintegrating minds of the story characters. The devil does show up on the screen, and so does the “familiars” (animal incarnation of witches). A witch does transform herself into a pretty maiden for our horrified entertainment purposes, and all that is candy for the eyes of the cinema goers. Yet, it is all clear that what you see is but the truth as seen from the diseased minds of the characters, and not the truth as it is. We are given a glimpse of what goes inside those guilty and ignorant superstitious minds, how the truth is perceived from their eyes. Through the hungry eyes of a depraved teenager who craves any female form(not excluding his sister’s), we see how an ugly old hag could seem like a beauty, and her promise of a kiss (his very first kiss!) could be both irresistibly sweet, and revoltingly disgusting. And how the whole sexual experience afterwards (his very first) can be enough to drive him insane with joys he couldn’t understand (and she kissed me, and went down, and then my bowels..oh, sweet Jesus take me in your lap, HAHAHA!) can drive him insane, feverish and howling until his little heart bursts.We see the old and dry wife on the verge of menopause, unable to contain the effects of her grief for her lost son, her alienation from her homeland, her suffering in a new unforgiving world, and her fear of competition from her blossoming daughter who had just seen the first signs of puberty. How she ends up a victim of self-mutilating thoughts and actions (the suckling craw scene is a masterpiece)We see the pious father, scared like hell from life (aka sin) and avoiding it whenever he can, escaping society whenever possible, flogging himself all the time and feeding his torturous, well-hidden feelings of unworthiness, xenophobia, and fear of a world much more powerful than he is, a world waiting for him, with its horrible evils, at every corner. No matter how hard he tries to vent off his anger on the farm animals or the logs of wood, no matter how far he tries to escape, no matter how he prays and cries and stuffs sand into his mouth to atone for his real and imaginary sins, his guilt and fear won’t let him be, until he drives himself, and everyone around him(including the family goat), totally insane.And above all, we have the most rational of all, the young girl who is trying , patiently , to keep her rationality, and save her innocence in a family that had gone completely bonkers. They are always accusing her and themselves of being worthless products of sin, frightening incarnates of evil, and fuel-to-be for everlasting hell. She watches them descend to madness, one by one, losing a little part of her mind every time; until she gradually and very believably, reaches the inevitable moment where she sheds off the last shred of civility and rationality, and runs amok into the woods, welcoming her ascent into the dizzy heights of absolute insanity. We all know what she would look like in a few decades. We have seen one just like her who had spend her life in the woods, nurturing her insane thoughts, becoming diseased, disfigured, ill fed, turning into a frightening form of serial-killer and baby snatcher. The movie has shown us her life, and her face. We have seen, and fully known, the witch. We have also , through the movie , seen and known evil, which is a form of insanity whose seeds are sown by ignorance and watered by guilt and fear.A great movie. It had done exactly what another movie, “The Village” has failed to do more than 10 years ago. It had delivered a very touching message about ignorance, about how guilt, fear and xenophobia have the power to corrupt and destroy the mind and the heart,especially under the effect of misinterpreted religion. How the Christian “Gospel of Love” (or the Muslim “message of peace”, if you wish) can turn into the voice of the Devil himself.– [email protected]

  • dora-matas
    dora matas

    When you leave the theater in stunned silence, I think the film did its job. The Witch is the next low budget horror film to reach the theaters this year, and it’s easily the best. The film rarely ever relies on jump scares to get your head spinning as the core of this film’s brilliance lies with its haunting imagery and eerie score. It’s hard for an audience of this day and age to get into a period piece set in the 17th century without any big name actors or action elements. And I have to admit that I wasn’t sure I wanted to see a film like this, especially with its horror elements. But my eyes were pealed from beginning to end. I wouldn’t say anything about the story shocked me or had me confused, but the imagery, score, and uncompromising nature to Robert Egger’s direction left me breathless. Within 10 minutes I was looking at the screen and whispering to myself “why would you go there?”, “Don’t do that!”, or “come on, really?”. Not because I thought it was poor story- telling, but because I was so invested as to what these characters were doing.With that said, I don’t think this film is for everyone. It’s brutal, harshly relentless, and utterly disturbing. The characters use all 17th century dialogue and the cinematography sets this grey and ominous tone. The imagery from beginning to end will stick in your head as it has done with me. But that’s the way horror films should be. I wouldn’t say it’s more a psychological thriller because there are plenty of terrifying moments, but it is more for the ‘Under the Skin’ crowd than it is for people who love ‘The Conjuring’. Even in its harsh moments, I was always invested and I can’t deny the quality of the writing, directing, and acting all around. This is how you make a horror film.+Terrifying imagery+Egger’s direction+Invested from beginning to end-Sometimes the dialogue is difficult to follow7.6/10

  • margaret-george
    margaret george

    After reading the reviews here and hearing about the surprising success of this film, I was eager to watch it. I love plots involving history pieces as well as the possible paranormal. But as I started watching this movie, I found myself praying that there was just a slow build. Unfortunately, I found myself hoping for that up until the very end. The characters were annoying at best. The various elements and ideas introduced to move the plot along seemed to be only minimally explored. The two worst characters in my opinion, were the twins who, from the beginning, gave off an air that they could be evil. Yet when it is confirmed that they had been talking to the devil via a farm animal, the directors/writers still somehow maintained their characters as innocent children. The sporadic intense sequences seemed more tragic than spooky. And the ending was completely insane. A girl watches her whole family get murdered and is scared half to death then instantly decides that she wants to join a coven of naked floating women? Really? I was extremely disappointed in this film and even more in the misleading reviews on this site. I even double checked to make sure that I had watched the same film as those reviewing. So now I am just wondering if I can have those 2 hours of my life back…?

  • erika-melik-ohanjanyan
    erika melik ohanjanyan

    This film is excellent! The photography, the costumes, the sets, the actors, the fearsome soundtrack of Mark Korven, the mesmerizing voice of Ralph Ineson and the dialogues are irreproachable. The atmosphere is deeply dark, desperately cold and deliberately slow. It takes place in New-England, a few decades before the well-known trial of the witches of Salem in 1692. A must see. 8/9 of 10.

  • senna-van-voorhout
    senna van voorhout

    The best part about The Witch, besides the acting, is the dichotomy between drama and what is actually a surprisingly fast paced and accessible horror movie (with few genre clichés.) The film could be looked at as two separate stories heavily intertwined: the supernatural horror of the woods vs the very real terror of violence erupting within the family, and amazingly this is all done seamlessly, missing no beats and never seeming to give up one for the other. In that way, The Witch has the elegance of a clever children’s story (A New England Folk Tale to be precise) with the intensity of a melodrama. This would never have worked if the cast didn’t kill every role, but luckily for us they did; they murdered those roles.I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a movie during which people, in the middle of a crowd, screamed. The Witch did that. The Witch made people scream and gasp so loud the whole room heard and it did other things too: it told an engrossing, intelligent story. There are minor “complaints” I may have that keep it from being 10/10 (the shots don’t carry the film as much as the writing,) but really this is a horror film that could easily make a top ten list. It’s just good fun (and the ending is great… don’t bash the ending… people are bashing the ending but I don’t know why… it’s really a perfect ending…)

  • darrell-jenkins
    darrell jenkins

    THE WITCH is, in a word, unsettling. Horror films don’t normally have an effect on me, much less scare me, but this one was unnerving in a very palpable way. It’s about a Puritan family who are banished from their village for an unspecified religious offense, and subsequently move to a location bordering a forest. While there, repeated misfortune and isolation create the perfect storm of religious paranoia over whether one or more of them are possessed by the devil. What THE WITCH masterfully does is to create this tense atmosphere and maintain it over nearly the entire length of the film. Whether it be odd/surreal imagery, slow and deliberate camera-work, or an eerie score reminiscent of Ligeti’s “Atmospheres” (used in Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY), all of it is used to brilliant effect and should be capable of rattling even the most seasoned viewer, especially if they have a religious background/upbringing (as I did). In fact, I sensed a lot of Kubrick here; not just 2001, but also THE SHINING. Not surprisingly, they share some thematic elements. The performances were also pitch perfect and very believable for the characters the actors played and, although this might prove hard to get by for some, they speak in period-authentic language/accents. Ultimately, the film is rather ambiguous as to whether or not the events occur in the manner you see them, but that’s the beauty of it: like religion itself, THE WITCH is open to interpretation. And as such, it establishes itself (in my opinion) as one of the best horror films of the last 10 years.

  • cirulis-arvids
    cirulis arvids

    To start, just so you know who’s actually writing the review. Young fellow here, didn’t watch any ‘classics’ horror movies but I do enjoy horror movies in general as long as they are not just gore type of movies. I’d say my favorite horror movies are The Ring and The Conjuring.So, past that to The Witch. I’d start by saying the movie was not what the trailer lead me to believe. This is not as much about scary moments or jump scare and more about a family coping with a lost child, and the movie trying to build suspense and just make the viewer feel uncomfortable. Because of this, I can see why some people will see it as really really slow with not much happening.Some PLUSES for me: – Anya Taylor-Joy (the older daughter) is amazing in this movie and I also think Ralph Ineson (the father) did a good job. – the score is really really good, there are periods of intense silence and periods of creepy music at just the right times to build tension – the cinematography with nice wide shots combined with the score works really well in most momentsFor the MINUSES: – I felt like the other child’s acting was pretty bad and over the top and just took me out of the movie in most scenes where they are the focus (thankfully there were not THAT many) – a bit too slow of a pacing during the first half even for my tasteSo, just like I said in the title, KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO. If you go and expect your typical horror movie with jump scares and a hidden ‘baddie’ slowly revealing itself along the movie in scary scenes, THIS IS NOT IT. This is mostly a family drama that tries to build suspense and make the viewer feel uneasy.On a side note, I caught this on a premiere showing with a theatre half full and the occasional comments, coughs and even laughter from some ‘individuals’ took me out of some moments. If you do want to watch this in the cinemas, I would recommend waiting and going way past premieres and on a awkward day / time so you have the cinema close to empty. Or, if you have a sweet setup at home with a good sound system, I would just watch it at home.

  • michael-taylor
    michael taylor

    I saw this movie a couple of times already and it still lingers in my head everyday. The tone and imagery of this film crawled inside me and nestled itself in my mind like no other had in a long time.The aspects of the film (lighting, sound, dialog, pacing, composition) created an atmosphere so real I was no longer sitting on my couch watching, but rather living this inherited puritan nightmare. This was the result of a director who not only painstakingly researched every aspect of colonial life in the 1630s, but who also executed his ideas with striking confidence.Calling this movie scary doesn’t due justice to how truly powerful and intense the horror scenes feel. He doesn’t hold back, shy away with the camera or use bullshit jump-scares to frighten you. Rather he composes scenes like an artist would a painting. In fact, I would almost say this film could be seen as a Fransisco Goya painting brought to life. He focuses in on the evil at hand, while still maintaining a sense of unknown and wonder. He is brilliant at what he shows you, but more in what he doesn’t show.Films like these don’t come around very often. There is true passion seen here by a very hungry, driven and intelligent director. I am truly impressed and hope he has a long and successful career.

  • bradley-west
    bradley west

    “The Witch” charts a family of Calvinist dissenters in colonial America who are exiled from their community and homestead at the edge of an ominous forest. When the infant child of the family disappears inexplicably, a chain of increasingly bizarre events lead to claims of witchcraft and sorcery that implode the family.Based on the plot summary, much about “The Witch” seems fairly predictable, and that’s because it is. Robert Eggers makes no bones about reality or superstition here; this is, as it is branded, a “New England folktale” through and through. It’s also allegorical on some levels, and is about an English family’s failure to conquer the vast American frontier. Regardless of how it is read, the film’s surface plays out like classic accounts of witchcraft and superstition that pervaded Puritan Calvinism in the seventeenth century.What director Eggers does here is weave a taut and unsettling narrative through a series of meditative visuals and haunting encounters with evil–some have said not much happens in the film, and they’re right–but is that the point of such a tale? The story is mediated through phenomenal performances that are the real emotional center of the film, while rare but fantastical occurrences with the supernatural jar the audience as much they do the family.Eggers’ direction is remarkable, and the cinematography consistently captures the gloom of a New England winter; close-ups show the younger children engaging with their ominous farm goat, while pans of characters venturing into the woods create a legitimate sense of danger–and that is another of the film’s prevailing themes. In the film, the threat of danger lurks in all matter, be it in the natural environment, in doctrine, or the horrifying corporeal locus where the two meet.Overall, “The Witch” is a surprising and moody entry in the horror genre for 2016; it is not only recalling classicism in its period setting and narrative, but also in its cinematic approach to storytelling. It is old-fashioned in just about every way, but is no less masterful at creeping into the skin as insidiously as evil does within the family. We feel their terror, their desperation, and their yearning for absolution; and that is what makes the film such an effective mood piece. 9/10.

  • gilles-philippe
    gilles philippe

    I found “The Witch” to be a generally unnerving film, and one which–though I would not place it in the pantheon of scariest flicks I’ve ever seen–had some moments that I’ll not easily forget.The atmosphere Eggers creates alone is enough to wrench serious dread from scenes other directors would be otherwise unable to make even remarkable. The score, too, helps cull this dark tone and adds life to a film that can be borderline tedious.That being said, “The Witch” is not for everyone. It is strange, slow but steady, gruesome at points, and almost un-watchable at others. There are two sides to this film; one which I had hoped the director would stick to concerning the family and their struggle with religion and isolation; and another which plays as an undercurrent to most of the film and then takes charge in the end. Sadly, it is this second side which keeps me from giving the film a better score, and that ultimately hurts the film in the very final scene.Overall, I enjoyed “The Witch” and its originality. Eggers has achieved a film that, for all its low-budget and independent film background, feels richer and better made than many horror entries of late. Should you decide to see it, a word of caution: do not expect a fast-paced movie full of jump scares and creepy crawlies emerging left and right. As the opening credits remind the audience, this is a folktale. One that does not shy away from exploring the real dark places.

  • jeffery-crane
    jeffery crane

    This is what I call a good movie. But it is not for everyone. After seeing the trailer, lots of people thought they get a horror spectacle. I’ll never understand why, because the trailer itself is very slow, just like the whole movie.The movies has a slow pace but its still intense. And it will only feel intense if you give in and not wait for action and speed. This movie is no Hollywood spectacle.The movie feels like a depiction of real life. No stupid jokes and exaggerated action scenes. Slow and calm dialogues. I liked the way the witch was enacted too. I am happy to see that she is not shown as a crazy woman jumping around eating toads.On the other side, I wished there would have been a deeper insight into the witches thoughts.So… go and see if you want more than silly Hollywood witches.

  • julija-cuk
    julija cuk

    If people from the 17th Century could make a film about their deepest darkest horrors – it would look a lot like this movie! The Witch engrosses you in the time and place of its setting, it’s a family drama, a horror and a folk tale. All interwoven together into a macabre ode of the times when people were frightened of the primeval darkness of the forests and the inexplicable twists of their wretched fates. Intense and gripping from the very beginning. With some of the most amazing acting I’ve seen by the youngest cast members. Fantastic movie for horror fans and a masterful period piece. I would recommend it highly to horror fans and fans of history and good cinema in general.

  • jerome-paris
    jerome paris

    This is a story set in the early colonial period of New England. It has the authenticity of a well-researched historical drama, up to and including dialogue delivered in a period accent and vocabulary (softened a bit so that it’s easy to understand). Instead of drawing on historical events, though, it draws on historical folklore — it’s the story of witchcraft afflicting a family, such as might have been told at the time.The characters are a very believable, ordinary family, with the sorts of tensions and problems you’d expect from people living a hard and substantially isolated life after being exiled from the local colonial town. They also have period Calvinist attitudes, and the storytelling doesn’t present an outsider’s view of this or offer a modern commentary, but instead it just displays these attitudes and tells a story from the characters’ standpoint.Their reliance on period folklore means that it doesn’t strictly follow modern horror movie tropes, either. It has the slow build of a modern psychological horror/thriller as well as the standard formula where tragedies start from tragic flaws, but the traditions it’s drawing on depend on a Calvinist’s conception of flaws, and treat witchcraft as a horrible, well-understood occurrence rather than a shocking supernatural surprise. This story applies these perspectives.It’s very well done in terms of writing, acting, and other aspects of execution, so it might have cross-over appeal to fans of horror, folklore, or straight period drama from colonial America.

  • vjekoslav-zuzic
    vjekoslav zuzic

    I feel like I can’t come up with the right words to describe this incredible movie, but I’ll try. The lingering atmosphere is done incredibly well from the beginning, helped along by a combination of a tense score and the use of extended periods of silence. The acting is bang-on and you don’t know when or how it is going to end. The movie doesn’t have ‘twists’ exactly, but the way it is written keeps you guessing constantly. And I personally loved the ending. Though the potential is there to use a more standard approach, The Witch however opts to go down a more subtle avenue, leading to the true nature of religious persecution that is on full display here. Additionally, elements of the story have been taken from historical documents, adding another layer of grimness. The supernatural elements are obviously up for discussion, but that these tales were written centuries ago somehow adds more to this disturbing film.The film is set in 1630, in New England, America. A Puritan family is banished from town for their beliefs (or it at least seems this way, perhaps based on real events). They are forced to move to a farm that feels like it is on the edge of the world, as from the opening the woods that line the farm are presented in ominous fashion, almost creating a character that could serve as the scariest element of the film. What exactly goes on in there? Why can’t the children venture inside? Suddenly, without warning, tragedy strikes. The family clings to their faith to prevent them from starving as their crops die; with nothing they can do to prevent it.The period is an appropriate choice given how humans treated each other centuries ago, and an ideal setting for a horror tale. Some conversations require a little more attention, as the characters speak in ‘ye olde English’ which takes a little getting used to, but it adds another layer of mystery as the family is struck by more inexplicable hardships, causing them to become wary of each other, which in turn leaves them in a increasingly vulnerable state. I can’t say I is scared, but I do know that I is gripping the armrests pretty hard for most of the film. Hell, they manage to make a scene where a man is hunting a rabbit seem tense and creepy! Additionally, this is not for inattentive viewers; I could see clock-watching all around me. The incredible camera-work almost reminds me of Paul Thomas Anderson in There Will Be Blood, with many long takes, often slowly panning or zooming in. There is also a focus on facial close-ups reminiscent of Bergman, all of which is a feast to watch on an IMAX screen. The score matches this camera-work almost to perfection, while there is often a lengthy silence between dialogue to contrast the tense music. It also must be mentioned that the child actors really shine, out-doing their older counterparts.This really is my sort of horror film. No jump-scares, convincing acting and a focus on a dark, foreboding atmosphere rather than the grotesque and bloody. This is another of those films I would label as a psychological thriller, as the supernatural horrors are kept almost completely out of view as we witness the downfall of a family who are all affected, turning on each other as their faith is truly tested.This film couldn’t have catered to my interests more; I can’t recommend it to everybody, but if you go in with no preconceived notions you’ll be in for a tasty, if not nasty surprise. The suspense is almost unparalleled among recent films, and the ‘horror’ genre conventions are cleverly subverted to deliver a film that is better than ‘It Follows’ while being a completely different film. In addition to all this, there is much to take in thematically if you are so inclined… Hell, I’d love to see this again to do just that.www.epilepticmoondancer.net

  • hugo-arreola-meraz
    hugo arreola meraz

    There’s another version of “The Witch” that could’ve existed. A Puritan family in New England gets terrified by a witch living in the woods, who torments them with supernatural Satanism. If you’re saying to yourself, “wait, isn’t that exactly what this movie is?” then you’ve come to the right review.I’m not what you’d call a fan of horror movies. I don’t gravitate toward the genre and I almost never seek horror movies out in theaters. That said, any movie that garners critical acclaim or positive buzz piques my interest as a fan of cinema on the whole. “The Witch” lives in that territory as a horror movie for cinephiles, not for audiences who love the thrill of a good scare.That’s not to say “The Witch” isn’t scary; it is. It’s just not scary in the modern trend-driven, formulaic, “movie trailer that ends with a jump-scare” kind of way. Writer and director Robert Eggers, who makes his feature film debut, builds his terror with tension drama and mystery, not by creating the pervasive sense that some creepy thing will pop into the frame at any moment.Eggers, a production designer first and foremost, builds his “Puritan nightmare” from the ground up, starting with all the tiniest era-appropriate details in the set, costumes and even dialogue. It doesn’t take a historian to notice the immaculate craftsmanship and consideration of time and place. Eggers’ devotion to this realism pays off in that the “The Witch” never loses its footing in reality even as more supernatural elements creep into the story. Well, until the end, but let’s not go there except to say that by then, the realism matters much less.The story follows a Puritan family that leaves its plantation and village over religious differences and goes off to build a home near the edge of the woods. Suddenly, the family infant, Sam, disappears under the watch of the eldest child, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy). The incident devastates the mother (Kate Dickie) and father (Ralph Ineson), who convince everyone it was a wolf that took Sam, but the tragedy trickles down to the four children, Thomasin, pre-teen Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) and young twins Jonas and Mercy. Of course, the audience is privy to what actually happened to Sam, and we know things will only get worse for the family.Considering the legitimate Puritan fear of Satan and witches, the subsequent events begin to tear into the family dynamics, which adds to the tension that already exists over what unnerving thing might happen next. The story could definitely have gone deeper into distrust and paranoia, but then it might have become too much of a “witch trial” movie.The way the movie ends will draw no shortage of opinions, but without a doubt, Eggers and cinematographer Jarin Blaschke have made an and utterly engrossing film that would be just as effective had it just been a period drama instead of a horror film – from a visual standpoint. Blaschke works almost exclusively with available natural light, which in addition to bolstering Eggers’ emphasis on realism, keeps the specter of darkness and evil hanging over the family. In fact, had the film not marketed itself so overtly as a horror film, it might have been given more awards consideration. Regardless, Eggers delivers a remarkable feature debut that’s a definite breakthrough candidate; he will certainly have a lot of eyes on his future projects. His focus on detail and strong cinematic instincts could work wonders on a more mainstream project, but if he opts for more small-budget genre films, no complaints here.~Steven CThanks for reading! Visit Movie Muse Reviews for more

  • matthew-ferguson
    matthew ferguson

    Period pieces don’t often serve as the backdrops for horror, which is actually a real shame. Consider The Witch, a story about a banished Puritan family trying to sustain itself on the edge of an ominous forest inhabited by a gruesome witch. The faithful representation of one of the most creepy time periods in American history makes all the difference here. The family’s dealings with the supernatural terror in the woods push their spiritual and physical endurance to the breaking point. Robert Eggers pulls no punches and makes no apologies in this film. The Witch’s scenes are steeped in primal dread, and each actor makes the audience feel the seams come apart as paranoia and mistrust begin to take their toll. While Game of Thrones alumni Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie offer brilliantly raw performances as the family’s mother and father, it’s the film’s younger actors—Harvey Scrimshaw and Anya Taylor-Joy—who really shine. Scrimshaw captures the nuanced turmoil of being an adolescent male in a strictly religious family. As the oldest daughter who is blamed for the witch’s malevolent deeds against the family, Anya Taylor-Joy shows a surprising amount of risk and range in her performance. The film swings for the fences on all fronts. The performances are explosive, the tension is gut-wrenching, and the settings are nightmarish. To the horror films of 2015, the gauntlet has officially been thrown down. –Alex Springer