REVIEW: The Witch (2016)

Release Poster - A24
Release Poster – A24

The following is a quick review of Robert Eggers’ The Witch.

Robert Eggers’ The Witch takes place in 17th century New England, and it follows a family that has been banished from a Puritan plantation. They build their new home right outside a giant forest, and soon the mother of the family gives birth to a new child. But, one day, that same child disappears while playing with his big sister, Thomasin (played by Anya Taylor-Joy). Her mother (played by Kate Dickie) blames Thomasin for the child’s disappearance, but it is revealed to the audience that it had been taken by an old witch who lives in the forest.

I was really impressed with this film, and it starts with the cast. They aren’t really well-known actors, but they all give pretty solid performances. I liked the kid who played Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), I liked the two parents (Kate Dickie & Ralph Ineson), I really liked the creepy twins, but I loved Thomasin. Anya Taylor-Joy gives a supreme and spell-binding performance in this film, and it ought to launch her into stardom. She really captures the mood of the film well in certain scenes.

The Witch is Robert Eggers’ first feature film ever, and you, frankly, cannot tell at all. This is, from top to bottom, a confidently crafted and detailed horror film that doesn’t make use of the same cheap tricks that most other horror films do these days, but instead, he has dedicated a lot of time to building the right creepy atmosphere.

The Witch is a horror film that builds tension and unease remarkably well. It isn’t shocking, rather it’s a spine-tingling and chilling experience that will stick with you. I wrote in my notes that it felt a little bit like a mixture of The Village and The Shining, but maybe that isn’t the perfect comparison. It feels like its own thing. However, it’s not a horror film for everyone. This is not the type of horror film you take friends to see to joke over. Rather, this is a more mature horror film, more of an art film’s version of horror.

8.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

4 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Witch (2016)

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