Review: The Witch (2016)

Written and Directed by: Robert Eggers
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
Release Date: Feb. 19, 2016


The Witch was a much anticipated indie horror film that has won six awards from six separate film festivals, including the London Film Festival and the infamous Sundance Film Festival.

What’s it about?
The Witch follows a teenage girl by the name of Thomasin (Taylor-Joy) and her family in 1630s America. The family is forced out of the town in which they lived and made to live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. When strange and horrible things begin to happen, the highly religious family suspects witchcraft is involved.

Here’s the trailer:

What did I think?
I was so excited to see this movie, especially after Stephen King praised it so highly. I tried for months to get a screener from the film maker, but received no reply. After so many festival wins, though, I’m not surprised.

To be completely honest, I didn’t find the film to be scary. That’s not to say it isn’t a brilliant film, I’m just not afraid of witches or the threat of witchcraft. That being said, the film did a majorly good job in building the suspense and surprising me in the end.

The plot itself was thorough and well constructed. The Witch is a brilliant portrayal of the very real fears that religious Americans in the early 1600s had. There wasn’t one part where I thought, “But what about…?” There were no holes. Instead, I was intrigued from the very first moment to the last.

The actors did an amazing job, as well. They each handled the older language well and were believable in their many flaws. I did have a bit of an issue understanding a lot of what they said, so I would love to watch it over again with some subtitles, but I was still able to follow along very well.

The ending shocked me, to say the least, but I won’t elaborate as to avoid spoilers.

Do I recommend it?
Oh yes, I do. Even if I didn’t find it scary, plenty of other people did. It’s got everything historical horror should have: realism, suspense, wonder and a dab of the unknown. Go watch it for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments below!


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