The Witch

Studio: A24
Directed by Robert Eggers

Feb 17, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice
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In 17th Century New England, a farmer and his family leave the safety of their colony following a religious dispute to start their own farm near a dark forest. First, their infant song disappears with no explanation. Then, their crops begin to rot. Strange, tragic ills continue to befall the family, and their eyes begin turning toward their adolescent daughter Thomasin as suspicions of witchcraft start to build.

There’s a gut-wrenching sense of dread that saturates nearly every minute of director Robert Eggers’ feature debut. The most terrifying elements of The Witch aren’t what’s shown—though, there are a handful of grotesque images that will be ingrained in your mind for long after the movie’s over—but what’s implied. (The film only drops ghastly hints at what’s going on, leaving viewers to dream up their own chilling details.) One quibble: the characters speak in an olde English tongue that—while adding a fantastic sense of authenticity to its period setting—is often difficult to understand; it’s enough that some of the setup and character motivations are in danger of being lost on viewers, but it certainly doesn’t get in the way of the horror. 

a24films.com/films/witch/

Author rating: 7.5/10

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