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    Movie Review – The Witch

    Movie Review – The Witch

    Horror and history meet in a nightmare.

    The Witch is a new film which will delight fans of horror stories and history alike. The writer and director of the film, newcomer Robert Eggers, won best director for this movie at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and the award was well deserved.

    Due to a heavy writing schedule, I don’t get out to the movies very often but when I first saw the trailer for this film back in August, I knew I wanted to see it. It opened in theaters this weekend and I saw it last night.

    This is not a typical horror movie but it’s not for the faint of heart and certainly not appropriate for children. However, fans of history will delight in the attention to period details.

    The setting, lighting, and costumes are perfectly Puritan. The dialogue is so authentic the film could have used subtitles in modern English at points. Even the parts of the story that deal with the witch (and there is a witch) are steeped in New England folklore.

    The film follows the story of a family which is banished from a New England settlement in 1630 because the father is too pious for the Puritans.

    The family moves away and builds a small house and farm on the edge of a dark forest.

    Things deteriorate quickly.

    The family’s baby boy Samuel, disappears while being watched by eldest daughter Thomasin. Crops fail, the mother begins to lose her faith in God and the toddler twins Mercy and Jonas develop an unhealthy relationship with the family goat “Black Phillip.” The eldest son Caleb has an encounter with a mysterious woman in the woods and returns with a life threatening fever.

    Accusations of witchcraft against Thomasin and paranoia follow as the family completely breaks down. Rather than jump scares or special effects, the horror unfolds in your mind along with the plight of the characters.

    The largely unknown cast is outstanding, particularly Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin and Ralph Ineson as the father, William. Kate Dickie, who plays the mother Katherine is also strong and the kids who play the twins are the creepiest sibling duo since The Shining.

    I will not spoil the ending for you and neither should you. If you see this movie, you’re better off going in knowing little about it. I will tell you however, that the final twenty minutes of the film is not what you’ll expect and you may want to go to church after leaving the theater.

    This is not a movie for everyone, but if you’re a fan of New England history, period films, the Salem Witch Trials or scary stories, you’ll probably enjoy The Witch.

    The movie is Rated R for nudity and violent content. You can watch the original trailer below.

    Featured image via YouTube.


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    I found it to be a piece of trash, part feminist agitprop, part anti-Christian camp. It excels at creating mood, but the payoff is not only absurd, it includes one of the worst cliches from most movies about Satanic cults ever made, and that would be the requisite naked girls dancing around a fire hailing Satan. You can find better nudity online, and unlike this film doesn’t include any seduction via Billy goat.

    The makers of the film are saying this: pious Christians with nuclear families are goofy, will bring plagues upon themselves, and witches who eviscerate infants are hella-cool. The Satanic Temple endorsed this film on Twitter, and the movie’s PR team has gleefully played this up.

    Your mileage may vary, of course.

      JPL17 in reply to cbk. | February 21, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Thank you for your public service, cbk — i.e., for watching “The Witch” and warning others, so we don’t have to!

      I had somewhat suspected the film was nihilistic, anti-family, anti-Christian and radically feminist just based on the trailer and gag-worthy Newsweek interview I mentioned in a prior post. But now your review solidly confirms that suspicion, and further suggests the film puts Satanism in a positive light to boot.

      No thanks, Robert Eggers, Anya Taylor-Joy and Sundance Film Festival! I’ve got better ways to spend 2 hours + $20.

      Char Char Binks in reply to cbk. | February 21, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      It looks entertaining. I’m going to watch it.

    DaveGinOly | February 21, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Before everyone gives up on this movie, take a look at this review on a conservative site:

    Beware, spoilers abound (you find out exactly what happens in the movie and how it ends). A major spoilers is also implied by my following comment, so be warned.

    Is “The Witch” a reply to “The Crucible,” and does it warn us that sometimes when there is fear and paranoia, there is also a witch, a Communist, or Muslim terrorists causing it? I’m reminded of a quote (and don’t remember where I read or heard it many years ago), “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t after you.”

      Char Char Binks in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 21, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      You make some good points, and hanks for the spoiler alert (I won’t take click the link). Also, I don’t understand some of the “conservative” criticism shown on this thread. This movie may come from a point of view that isn’t mine (don’t they all?), but that’s no reason I shouldn’t watch it, and is the proper conservative viewpoint of today really about defending the Salem witch trials?

    So there’s underlying political themes in a horror movie? I can deal with it in horror as long as the entertainment factor is high. Most people are not going to the horror show for the cultural connotations. You could say if only the little girl in The Exorcist had a daddy around the demon wouldn’t never have claimed her. Yeah, that’s a big stretch but whatever.

    It’s the more ‘serious’ movies that applaud the disintegration of the family and white man hatred that I’d have a problem with.

    Like Batman or something.

    Just kidding. Love Batman. OT, I heard Bats vs. Supes has the Dark Knight against The All Being because he’s some kind of socialist nightmare.

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