Saturday, August 13, 2016

THE WITCH (2016)

Written & Directed By: Robert Eggers 
Cinematography By: Jarin Blaschke 
Editor: Louise Ford 
Production Design: Craig Lathrop 
Art Direction: Andrea Kristof 

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Kate Dickie, Ralph Ineson, Harvey Scrimshaw, Julian Richings, Viv Moore, Sarah Stephens

*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this

New England, 1630: William and Katherine 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 fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.

The premise is based on America's first witch hysteria in colonial New England, set 62 years before the infamous "Salem Witch Trials" which occurred in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This is one of those films that is more rewarding he less you know about it. So you are free to discover instead of coming in with perceived notions. Stephen King, has stated that he was terrified by this film.

This is a film that takes you by surprise. As it is more atmospheric filmmaking. That feels more accomplished then half the horror films that are offered today.

The film focuses more on community and character. So that it stays intimate the whole time.

The film builds itself up. So that you have to pay attention to exactly know and understand what is going on.

The film sets itself up and it's own limits. It takes it's time, as this is not a film of jump scares and theatrics. It is trying to tell a story so it won't offer answers immediately that we know and they have to figure out. When it makes a move it is playing for keeps. As the film is more haunting then scary. As it gives you a sense of unease the whole time.

It continuously goes where you don't expect. Especially when you believe you have things figured out and it seems it will go that way. If it does get too familiar the film seems to then go to the more physical actions of the characters as they begin to uncontrollably tremble and weep in their weakness hat is never clearly defined.

The film is a period piece and as well as sets and costumes even the dialogue is more said in olden speak then natural dialogue. Which only helps the actors as they are so dedicated in their performances. They are so strong you believe them, he situations and their reactions to them. Even the child actors performances are great and feel natural.

It is scary. No jump scares. Not so much manipulation. The behavior and mindsets of the characters are more terrifying. As it already starts off creepy and only grows from there. As their motivations are always truly cloudy.

it showcases the damage that can be done by beliefs 

It is more a small film with very few characters. So you get more of an intimacy with the film and he characters. Which might make the audience uncomfortable. It's not what you would expect it's not the conventional horror film audiences are used to. 

The film relies more on psychological scares then physical 

It all boils down to who can you trust 

A story that reflects on female empowerment and trying to break outbid the restrictions that are set forth not just by religious fervor but also by her family in her role for the future. Though only to be enraptured by another belief and patriarchy that is a little more free but still has a system and set of rules that are damaging to others

Most of the film's dialogue and story were based on writings from the time. It feels like a film of it's time period. As this film seems dipped in tradition and truth as it scarily reveals itself and it's nature. It isn't so much thrilling. It more full of ideas and imagination. The work of a skilled hand filmmaker. That seems more rooted in the type of films of the 70's that could be ambiguous and make us question more. Then setting out to give the audience visceral thrills. The film was mostly filmed in natural and available light which helps give a natural Spookiness to it

This is a film that uses nature more to reinforce the atmosphere and to provide the horrors of the film. That produces a calm whiny the film that never settles again after s certain point in the film.

The movie is beautifully filmed more smaller scale. Though making the simple and expected scary and haunted. While offering many misdirections, but feels immersed In Something sinister. As when all is revealed it feels worse then anything they could have shown us or that we could imagine and not with pyrotechnics or make-up but with hints that seem more plausible and homegrown. Whose reality is easily imagined and can be felt which makes it all the more devastating. As this is a film I afraid to go to the places most mainstream cinema wouldn't or would shy away from.

Which is the only reason I can come up with for it's low cinema score. Where as the trailer made it look more like a scary ghost or possession story involving a stolen child. Where as the film Is more a measured period piece that takes it's time and slowly becomes more a genre piece but never let's itself get boxed in or defined as one.

The Satanic Temple has endorsed this movie and hosted several screenings of the film. Their spokesperson, Jex Blackmore, addressed the film as "an impressive presentation of Satanic insight that will inform contemporary discussion of religious experience."

The film manages to give a fresh meaning of horror that feels like a festering Underneath it's surface.

It also takes a while to get there but once we do, we get the whole scope of events and what they mean.

The film unfortunately was a minor hit at first through strong word of mouth, but audiences expected a more traditional horror film and weren’t prepared for this film which takes it times with it’s horror and fully takes advantage and explores the ideas it spills forth

Grade: B

1 comment:

  1. I liked it a lot until the awful ending which I felt derailed the movie. I'm so tired of this kind of indie horror ending where it's just a nihilistic conclusion. I don't want to get into too much detail with my objections since I agree people need to see this movie cold, but I thought it betrayed the character I thought I was following.