Let me start off by saying that this movie is a period piece and it is not going to be for everybody. With that said: The Witch, a movie ravenously consumed at Sundance by critics and horror junkies alike, Is a haunting masterpiece depicting the Puritan horrors of the late 1600’s New England. Written and Directed by A Production Designer and Costume Designer who up until 2015, was only behind the scenes of the movie world, Robert Eggers took this passion project to astonishing heights. The fact that Robert Eggers was only in the shadows of the industry up until the directorial debut only shows that if you have a vision, you gotta go for it.
Allbeit.. We at Indy Ball are local inhabitants of the enriching lore of witchcraft, being raised in a small New England Town, these depictions of social brutalities and harboring fears had been shoved in our faces since childhood. Years of Crucible readings and visits at the Salem Museums were all too real for us, it had been a yearly preemptive tradition that was just naturally coded into our New England minds. I am not saying we all believe in it, but we do have a deeper understanding and appeal towards it, as it has been apart of our culture and imprinted deep enough so we shall never forget.
Now as far as the movie goes: I have seen reviews, honest ones. Ones that have all been saying the same thing. That it’s boring, or that it is mismarketed.. blah blah blah. Yes, The commercial shows and presents this film as a terrifying experience and a modern masterpiece of horror. Guess what.. IT IS! The fact that our culture is immune to horror is sad, and people expect to be scared, they get so hyped up that the end result is never satisfying. That’s a problem. I went into this movie expecting a creepy historic tale about a family’s will to relinquish there own personal demons while fending off otherworldly presence. That’s what I got. Some of the Imagery in this film is daunting dour and brutal. Minimum Jump scares and the dialog its a bit much.. but it should be that way. The performances from Everybody in this cast is impeccable. Anya Taylor Joy and Ralph Ineson who play side by side Father and Daughter never seem to break dialog or character even during the most intense scenes as they watch their family descend into a peril of demonic darkness. The family is quite literally all you see and deal with in this movie and they are all amazing. Even the two twins who couldnt be older than 8 yrs old dole out some heavy hitting chops.
The long drawn out cinematography only builds a tension that you will beg to end and that when it does.. You will be left shaking and rattling. Yes the climax (Like most movies) leaves you with an undying thirst for more.. But the way they decided to end it, in my book.. Is the right way to do it.
The Witch is genius because it takes old school Puritan fears and brings a new light on it for modern audiences. I was disturbed and sad for a chunk of this movie.. Even if you might not see religion or a love for God, the way that this family is tested and tormented for their faith is unnerving. I easily give this movie a 9 out of 10 and advise you see it in a dark cold theatre alone .