I can’t say I’m not quite impressed with myself for being right on track with my cinema visits. February and 2 movies done! I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect going in but seeing as this was the most anticipated movie for Melissa (The Creative Fox Den), we had to do a podcast on it and it was how I ended up going to check this out. It just seems like I’m starting to go see these horror movies all by myself all the time. Its a little crazy because I’m the most easily scared person and I’m starting to think maybe that statement isn’t completely true anymore.
Let’s check it out! 🙂
The VVitch (2016)
Director & writer: Robert Eggers
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson, Bathsheba Garnett
A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.-IMDB
The VVitch is an interesting one to write about. I needed a few days to work out my thoughts a little. Its considered a horror and yet I’d say that the word I’d like to call this one is “unsettling”. It has a wonderful knack of being able to achieve discomfort. The atmosphere and the texture of the movie is dark and sombre. It creates mystery. It uses themes like faith and religion to conquer the evil that in the air. Its literally in the air around them. We never really see more than a few minutes in total of the movie the faces of evil and they are also unclear. Using those mechanics, it needs to be able to create dialogue and environment. Was I ever scared? No. Well, maybe a little creeped out because of the violent crescendo music in some transition scenes or the accompanying some other events. I found those at time the reason why I felt unsettled. Is that considered musical manipulation? Maybe.
The Witch is also a movie that you should go in knowing as little as possible and for that, I will try to stray far far away from talking about any concrete details. Its one that emphasizes on the writer and director’s abilities to bring his story to life. It is definitely a refreshing story especially in all its Old English glory. My only issue here is that while it wants to keep its authenticity of the era its set in, I would have wanted some subtitles to help me out. Some characters were borderline okay to understand but some other ones were downright impossible and it was when some happened due to a previous conversation that I figured out what the fuss in the beginning was all about. At that point, it takes away a little from one viewing. However, there are enough themes and ideas here that merits multiple viewings to grasp everything its trying to talk about.
Despite that, the story doesn’t quite lose its context ever. The Witch is a quiet film. It gives us a chance to slowly figure things out rather than treat its audience like it was stupid. The atmosphere in certain scenes were bone-chilling. The story works hard to make us learn about each of the characters, especially in its relatively short runtime. The Witch does try to achieve something more than the run of the mill horror we normally see. While I don’t live in the wilderness or near any woods so I didn’t lose a ton of sleep over this one, and it didn’t seem like it was scary, I did have moments where random moments did catch me off guard. Its main forte, aside from the story, is its cast and cinematography together and the cast themself is outstanding as they deliver their characters on point with what this story needs.
Overall, The Witch is a atmospheric chilling and eerie movie. It does exactly what it aims to do. While it does have its flaws, it also does have a lot of heart and merit. I look forward to watching this again and maybe getting a little more out of the story. Just keep in mind that it may never feel like a lot is going on but you will be engaged and intrigued almost every step of the way. Its well worth a viewing.
Have you seen The Witch? What are your thoughts? If you haven’t, do you plan to?