When this film was released in this country earlier this year, it’s critics were split right down the middle. On one hand you had those that felt it was an effective, evocative, unnerving and original take on a horror movie staple, and on the other hand there was those who believed it was pants pie. I am in the former camp.
Set in 17th century New England, a puritanical family, banished from their plantation set up a farmstead next to a sprawling forest. When their crops fail, one of their number disappears & another shows signs of possession, this family’s faith is tested to its limits.
To begin, if you want a jump scare ladened, switch off your brain, scream a minute horror experience, this is not that kind of film. The Witch probably isn’t your movie. However if you seek something a little deeper and rewarding than the usual cinema popcorn fare from your horror films every now and again, The Witch is a well you’ll keep returning to.
Written & directed by newcomer, Robert Eggers, It is a measured, expertly crafted and paced study in queesy unease and impending dread that does nothing to sacrifice story or character. This is a beautifully, beautifully shot film. From the long lingering shots of the Kiosk, Ontario (standing in for New England) landscape at dusk, lighting a scene only by candle light to cast an eerie sense of foreboding, to its surreal and haunting final shot. This is a film that very quickly gets under your skin and refuses to leave long after the end credits have rolled.
The Witch is out of DVD & Bluray from 18th July.