A devout Christian family in 1600’s New England are cast out from a colony and so decide to set up outside an imposing forest. They haven’t been at their new location very long before the youngest child disappears under mysterious circumstances. In the following days more and more strange and possibly supernatural happenings will begin to tear this family apart.
I want you to cast out the main message of the Witch’s marketing – that this film will scare the pants off you. Because if you go in expecting to be terrified you’ll be going in expecting a different film to what this is. It’s not at all like the normal horror film we see today. There are no big jump scares, it isn’t long periods of quiet followed by pouncing out at the camera. The Witch creates a feeling of complete dread that eventually builds up until it is almost unbearable. I do think it’s scary, just not in the normal horror film sense of the word.
The Witch frankly is the best film of the year so far, and one of my favourite films of the decade so far. What I love especially about this is that it isn’t a film about a beastie that tears a family apart, this is a film about a family that tear themselves apart under possibly supernatural circumstances. The film constantly wrong-foots you alliances and makes you question who you side with in all of this. It manages this through some note perfect performances. Anya Taylor-Joy taking centre stage as Thomasin the daughter whom the story begins to revolve around more and more towards the end is breath-taking and surely is dead set for greatness after this. But really the family’s dynamic is why this works so incredibly well.
I think the Witch’s real trump card gets played the night after you watch this film though, because for me it was only then that I realised how much it had got under my skin and really really creeped me out. Sure at one point I started sweating with fear in the cinema but it was trying to get to sleep afterwards that I realised how this film had got to me. The last ten minutes gave me a feeling that I can only describe as being chilled to the bone. And for a horror film what more can you ask for.
For me this is the greatest film of the year so far, and it is going to take something incredible to top it. I put it up there with last year’s It Follows which I now regard as one of my top ten favourite films of all time. I love The Witch and I hope you will to. Although I do understand why some have taken against it so violently because it isn’t the normal horror film that we expect today.