As it’s a dark rainy evening, I thought I’d watch a super scary horror film on my own. Tonight I’m reviewing The Witch, which came out in 2015 and soon to be released on DVD.
- Written and directed by Robert Eggers
- Genre: mystical, period, horror
- Running time: 93 minutes
- Rating: R
In the 1630’s, New England was torn apart by fears of witchcraft. A family is exiled from their village and have to make a life for themselves in the wild. They struggle to grow enough food to support themselves which begins to split the family and things go further downhill when the youngest child Sammy goes missing. From there dark and spooky things occur.
I didn’t know any of the actors which is quite refreshing as I wasn’t comparing the actors to previous roles.
Anya Taylor-Joy plays Thomasin, the eldest child in the family. I really enjoyed her performance; sometimes people go too hammy and OTT in horror, but Anya’s portrayal is just right. Her accent is excellent and she ranges from the subtlest hints of emotion to fully fledged outbursts. A really talented actress and I hope she goes far!
Ralph Ineson plays William the father of the family. Ineson portrays a very gruff and moody character who is desperately holding onto his faith whilst his world falls apart. He really makes the role believable and was my favourite actor within the film.
Kate Dickie plays Katherine, the mother of the family and brings the hysterical element to the film and left me with chills after some scenes. Also Harvey Scrimshaw who plays young Caleb is also a really memorable performance.
I loved the soundtrack to this film. It’s really haunting through the use of discordant choral singing and strings. It really heightened the sense of fear and the unknown. So many small sound effects are also used in the film and the simplicity of them creates so much tension – I love it!
I thought the production of this film was ace. It was really interestingly shot with such good use of lighting. The editing was spot on, the tension and fear is created by slow reveals and giveaways which was done expertly!
I did really enjoy this film. It’s vibe is a bit like The Crucible, with the spread of hysteria and fear about witches. But in this film there is actual cause for fear which adds to their hysteria. It’s also like A Field in England too as it’s eerie and freaky. Quite a few times I jumped really badly and did genuinely feel on edge throughout. But, I felt that the narrative wasn’t quite explained fully, we saw glimpses of the antagonist but were never given an explanation about them. This could have been the filmmakers intention – to keep things ambiguous, but I felt that it was slightly too ambiguous.
I’d rate the film a 6/10, a fairly good horror film that’s made really well but needs more elaboration on the plot!