The darling of Sundance and other film festivals across the country, The Witch is Robert Eggers’ directorial debut and tells the twisted tale of a devout Christian family homesteading on the edge of an impassible American wilderness in colonial New England. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another, believing that someone or something is the cause of their recent misfortune and pain. The Witch is also written by Eggers and stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Katie Dickie and Julian Richings.
It’s probably an understatement to use the word “atmospheric” to describe The Witch, but damn, this is one hell of an atmospheric looking movie. With the tension-ridden score, steady camerawork and the bleak-greyness of the New England wilderness, it’s no wonder that the film has been receiving so much praise from critics and film festival attendees. There’s also the added creepiness that something bad is obviously happening to the children. There tends to be a taboo in depicting graphic-violence committed against children in film, whether it’s physical or psychological. The Witch seems to be ignoring this taboo and is adamant about showing just how awful and horrific a colonial-set horror film or anything else set in the Northeastern United States can get. I would know. I’m from the Northeast.
Though I haven’t seen the film, I can at least understand why Eggers was chosen to direct the second Nosferatu remake. Even after just viewing the trailer, Eggers appears to be adamant about delivering a horror film that doesn’t rely on obnoxious jump scares or forces audiences to follow boring, stereotypical characters. The Witch obviously has a lot going for it so far and I’d hate for the film to have some ridiculous plot twist at the end that just ruins the entire viewing experience. You know, where it’s revealed that everything actually took place in the 21st century and that the colonial setting is just some super elaborate billion dollar façade. That would be really stupid, right?
The Witch will make its way to theatres Holiday 2016.