Release Date: 19 February 2016
Director: Robert Eggers
Writer: Robert Eggers
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson….
Genres: Horror | Mystery
Country: USA | UK | Canada | Brazil
Storyline: New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. ‘The Witch’ is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.
The best part about The Witch, besides the acting, is the dichotomy between drama and what is actually a surprisingly fast paced and accessible horror movie (with few genre clichés.) The film could be looked at as two separate stories heavily intertwined: the supernatural horror of the woods vs the very real terror of violence erupting within the family, and amazingly this is all done seamlessly, missing no beats and never seeming to give up one for the other. In that way, The Witch has the elegance of a clever children’s story (A New England Folk Tale to be precise) with the intensity of a melodrama. This would never have worked if the cast didn’t kill every role, but luckily for us they did; they murdered those roles.