“The Witch” is a new horror movie that is directed by Robert Eggers and stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Katie Dicket and Harvey Scrimshaw. The setting of the film is New England in the 1630s, and it focuses on a religious family who is banished from their plantation due to their beliefs. When they come to reside in the middle of the woods, everything seems fine until one of the children vanishes. As other mysterious things begin to happen, the family starts to have anxiety and stops trusting one another.
As someone who is not the biggest fan of the horror genre, I was actually really looking forward to seeing “The Witch,” because we have had some great horror movies so far this decade (“The Conjuring,” “The Babadook,” “It Follows”). The reason why those movies worked so well is because they did not have constant jump-scares and they didn’t rely solely on CGI to be scary. “The Witch” looked like it was going to follow that same path and, after leaving the theater, I left with a smile, because I had just seen a great horror movie.
There is a lot to admire about “The Witch,” most notably the performances. The acting from everyone was magnificent, as I believed that they were truly in fear as well as anxious at the same time. Even still, the performance that stood out to me the most was Ineson, who played the father. He did a terrific job and was my favorite character in the movie. I also loved the performance from Scrimshaw, who played one of the sons. There was one scene in particular that involved him that truly terrified me and he knocked it out of the park. Overall, I would say that the acting was the strongest component of the movie.
Another factor of the movie that was remarkable was the directing. A lot of scenes are directed with such tension, and Eggers managed to get under your skin with the camerawork. When things started to get chaotic and the true horror happened, then it really hit the fan. The director also managed to incorporate the soundtrack perfectly with each scene, and it was really fantastic. “The Witch” is a directorial debut from Robert Eggers and, after this movie, I can really see a bright future ahead of him as a filmmaker.
As far as flaws go, “The Witch” is undoubtedly a slow burn. It’s a movie that takes its time, and there were times that I certainly felt the slow pacing. I’m also not 100 percent sure how I feel about the ending. It’s not a bad one, but it is different in terms of how a typical horror movie ends. In the end, I admire “The Witch” for being a different horror movie and not relying on jump-scares like most horror movies tend to do nowadays, and I would highly recommend this movie, especially for horror fans.