A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.
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.
- Feb 18, 2016