I entered this film with somewhat high expectations, as it has been deemed by some as one of the creepiest and best horror films of the year. I am sad to report that it is not!
The Witch: A New England Folk Tale is a boring, overly drawn out drama, with drab, unlikable characters (apart from Black Philip, the goat, who has inspired the latest trending internet memes and is the shining star of the entire film) and excessive use of its "horror moment" music, even in places where it wasn't a "horror moment", which was annoying and somewhat confusing.
I understand that this film was based on a true accounts of witchcraft, with much of the dialogue apparently from these original accounts, which was a nice touch, if it is indeed true, but unfortunately on the big screen much of the conversation was painfully dull.
Much of the actual "horror" components of the film, including a scene involving a crow which some viewers may find disturbing, or even distressing is towards the end of the film. While it is done very well, it did lead me to think that it would have been better off as a short film, rather than a feature, as there was a lot of nothing happening for most of the first to third of the film.
This film does also come with a trigger warning for sexual abuse victims, as there is a scene that leads the audience into thinking that a young boy was raped by a woman.
Written and directed by Robert Eggers and starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, and Kate Dickie, the story of The Witch is about a puritan family who lived in 1630 New England and were forced to leave their town, because the father of the family did not believe that the people of said town had followed the bible and the word of god correctly with their customs and laws.
They soon find themselves a new home on a failing farm, when the youngest member of the family, a tiny baby, goes missing under mysterious circumstances.
The family soon find themselves going mad with distrust and accusations of witchcraft as more and more strange things begin to happen, which lead them to discover that they might have some unsuspecting traitors amongst them.
You can clearly tell that there was a lot of research put into the film and it is filled with absolute detail of the time period it was set in, which is a great credit to the people behind this film, but unfortunately much of those tiny details bogged it right down.
The actors all did a fantastic job, particularly the children who played characters in situations which must have been quite a challenge to them. If a good drama with some elements of horror is your style, then this is definitely one for you.
The only film I can think of comparing it to is The Village, which I also disliked, but I encourage you to see it for yourself and please tell me in the comments what you think!
The Witch is rated MA and is recommended for people 15 and over, due to its strong supernatural themes, sexual references and violence.
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