The Witch


D: Robert Eggers

A24/Parts & Labor/RT/Rooks Nest/Maiden Voyage/Mott Street/Code Red/Scythia/Pulse/Special Projects (Rodrigo Teixeira, Daniel Bekerman, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond & Jay Van Hoy)

US/Canada 2015 (released 2016)

93 mins


W: Robert Eggers

DP: Jarin Blaschke

Ed: Louise Ford

Mus: Mark Korven

Anya Taylor-Joy (Thomasin), Ralph Ineson (William), Kate Dickie (Katherine), Harvey Scrimshaw (Caleb), Ellie Grainger (Mercy), Lucas Dawson (Jonas)

I believe that the golden rule for horror movies is that "less is more". Unfortunately, most modern horror films tend to ignore this rule in favour of jump scare/gore porn rubbish.

The Witch bucks the current trend in favour of an approach to its material that focuses on mystery, intrigue and suggestion.

Set in 17th Century New England, a family are exiled from their community over a religious dispute and subsequently build a farm on the edge of a secluded forest. One of the family's children is abducted by the unknown and Thomasin, the eldest daughter, is blamed for the disappearance. 

The family attempt to come to terms with their loss as they struggle to thrive away from their community as the young twins accuse Thomasin of witchcraft when an illness strikes Caleb, the eldest son of the family.

Writer-director Robert Eggers crafts his movie impressively with an air of arthouse in his approach to the material, helped by good performances from the cast.

It's unfortunate that it probably won't be appreciated by the mainstream, since it's a horror movie you don't have to disengage your brain for.


Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch
Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch