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The Witch (2015)

The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (original title)
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A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.

Director:

Robert Eggers

Writer:

Robert Eggers
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551 ( 1)
41 wins & 67 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anya Taylor-Joy ... Thomasin
Ralph Ineson ... William
Kate Dickie ... Katherine
Harvey Scrimshaw ... Caleb
Ellie Grainger Ellie Grainger ... Mercy
Lucas Dawson Lucas Dawson ... Jonas
Julian Richings ... Governor
Bathsheba Garnett ... The Witch
Sarah Stephens ... The Witch, Young
Daniel Chaudhry ... Black Phillip (voice) (as Wahab Chaudhry)
Axtun Henry Dube Axtun Henry Dube ... Samuel
Athan Conrad Dube Athan Conrad Dube ... Samuel
Viv Moore ... Lead Coven Witch (as Vivien Moore)
Karen Kaeja Karen Kaeja ... Coven Witch
Brandy Leary Brandy Leary ... Coven Witch
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A New-England Folktale. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content and graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Official Site - A24 | See more »

Country:

UK | Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Witch See more »

Filming Locations:

Kiosk, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,800,230, 21 February 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,138,292, 22 May 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A hare appears frequently in the film. In colonial New England, hares were considered magical creatures in their own right. They were often associated with witches, either as a milk-hare, which stole or spoiled milk from the farm animals, or the witch themselves, who were thought able to turn into a hare in order to spy on and influence people. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
William: [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?
Governor: We must ask thee to be silent!
William: Was it not for the pure and faithful dispensation of the Gospels, and the Kingdom of God?
Old Slater: No More! We are *your* judges, and not you ours!
William: I cannot be judged by false Christians, for I have done nothing, save preach Christ's true Gospel.
Governor: Must you continue to dishonor the laws of the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film '72: Episode #45.3 (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Summary:
2 March 2016 | by avdropm-944-921852See all my reviews

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.


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