The Witch’ attempts to break boundries of modern horror films

By Elaine DeLeon

“The Witch” is not the average horror movie and will surely leave you afraid to go and wander around any nearby forests.

The film is set in the year 1630 and focuses on a family of seven that is forced to leave its village.

The family members move to the outskirts of New England and settle near a forest. They believe they are alone but soon realize that deep within the forest lives a witch.

After the parents’ youngest son Samuel goes missing, tension starts to build among all the family members. Eventually, more strange things begin to occur..

One word comes to mind after I saw this movie, paranoia. This feeling builds up as you continue to see horrible things happen to these family members, which leaves you wondering what’s in store for them in the climax.

“The Witch” is not a typical horror movie, as it does not try to scare you with jump scares but with its uneasy atmosphere.

Some scenes are not for the faint of heart because they can be quite intense, especially in the beginning. The movie is not filled with gory scenes, but it focuses on the characters.

One critique of “The Witch” is that the dialogue can be hard to follow.

The movie delivers an authentic 1630s setting. For example, it gives a good representation of how things were back then and how the people would handle these types of situations. But every line is in old English. For the majority, it is not so much an issue as it is easy to get the basics on what each person says.

During quiet scenes, when the characters have deep conversations, it can be difficult to understand some dialogue.

As for the characters, you begin to feel sympathy for the eldest daughter, Thomansin (Anya Taylor-Joy), when the other members of her family begin to blame her for the disappearance of her brother. You see her struggle as more things start to fall apart.

The father William (Ralph Ineson) is enjoyable. You immediately see how protective he is over his family, even though he facing something he doesn’t understand. You also witness William’s stress build up throughout the movie.

The acting was also good. Each character was able to speak in old English and make it sound like natural speech instead of actors trying to read from a script.

Robert Eggers is the director of the movie and has also done work in the movies “The Tell-Tale Heart” (2008) and “Hansel and Gretel” (2007).

As for the witch herself (Bathsheba Garnett), the movie does a good job combining both creepy and mysterious. Any scene with the witch will surely freak you out. If only there were more scenes with her in them.

The ending of the movie can leave some people with mixed feelings. I found it over the top but also a tragic conclusion to a family’s sad tale.

Overall, the movie does a great job giving you the creeps. I definitely do not plan on going on any nature hikes anytime soon.

Courtesy of A24 Productions

‘The Witch’

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