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 inescapable evil.
Near the end, when Thomasin is seen with her mother, her blood stained dress top is obviously closed with buttons or snaps. Shortly afterwards, when she removes the same bloody garment, she does so by untying multiple string ties. See more »
[before the court]
What went we out into this wilderness to find? Leaving our country, kindred, our fathers houses? We have travailed a vast ocean. For what? For what?
We must ask thee to be silent!
Was it not for the pure and faithful dispensation of the Gospels, and the Kingdom of God?
No More! We are *your* judges, and not you ours!
I cannot be judged by false Christians, for I have done nothing, save preach Christ's true Gospel.
Must you continue to dishonor the laws of the ...
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An unnerving, surreal descent into religious paranoia
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.
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