A devoutly Christian family in 1630s New England, struggles to survive living along the edge of a vast wilderness. When one of their five children goes missing and their life-sustaining crops fail, they fall victim to paranoia and fear as they begin to turn on one another. Based on actual New England folklore and dialog from transcripts during the Salem witch trials, this movie looks beautiful but will leave you with a feeling of dread and discomfort long after it is finished.
2015, Color, Rated R, 1 hour 32 minutes
Dolby Digital HD-MA 5.1 audio, 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, and Katie Dickie
Directed by: Robert Eggers
I really liked this film, but I can see why many complained about the language. Not the cursing, but the fact that the actors are speaking good old King James English. You do have to concentrate a bit on what and how things are said, but this all just adds to the authentic feel of the film. It is billed as a horror movie, but it is more of a psychological thriller and thus, a slow burner. Oh, the witch is real enough, but the titular character only appears in a few brief scenes. This is not a slasher flick or a monster movie.
Watching the family degenerate into superstition and fear amongst themselves is a fascinating study that will leave you thinking about the movie long afterwards. The acting is superlative and the picture itself reminds me of a painting by Vermeer. The characters almost glow against the dark background of the dimly lit interior of the cabin. Being a New Englander, I recommend this movie, but be forewarned. Don’t watch it alone.
As I mentioned before, the picture quality is stunningly good. Some of the colors are muted, but the detail in the costumes is astounding. The witch has a deep red cape that really makes her both beautiful and sinister. I’m sure the red color is a metaphor for the devil. The sound is all encompassing and especially effective in the deep woodland scenes. Surrounds are used judiciously and the dialog, albeit difficult at times to understand, is clear and well centered on the screen.
Included are an audio commentary with the director, a featurette “The Witch: A Primal Folktale”, Design Gallery and a Q & A session with the Salem panel.