It feels as though the Devil himself made this.
Rarely does a movie come along that disturbs you, much less even shake you to your very core. The Witch is an experience, a revelation. Something not to be missed by even the mildest of horror fans.
The Witch follows a family of seven who have been banished from their plantation community, and seek to start a new life; settling to live in a far off field surrounded by woods. Unbeknownst to these God fearing people, evil lives here. To say more would ruin it, because there’s a point in the movie where you have no idea what’s going to happen next. You find yourself on the edge of your seat, and it’s awesome.
Something that helps The Witch stand apart from other horror movies are its characters. These people aren’t irrational or stupid. They have flaws, desires, and they care for each other. The greatest thing a horror movie can do is make you fear for the characters in it. Everything in The Witch feels like it is really happening. There’s almost nothing in its story, setting, or characters that pulls you out of the film. The writing is so good that even the scenes that focus solely on family drama are riveting.
The films small 3.5 million production budget hardly ever shows. It looks amazing. The cinematography relies a lot on natural light, as fires and candles light a room, with some characters shadowed while others are clearly visible. The music adds heavily to the atmospheric tone, utilizing tribal cadences and raw, screeching strings that crescendo into what feel like a chorus of screams. The acting is great; even the child actors put out great performances. Everything here works together to create constant tension and a lingering sense of dread that lasts throughout the film’s run-time.
The Witch will most likely not directly scare you. There’s hardly a moment you’ll want to scream. It’s a slow burn that ratchets up the tension more and more, with a payoff so brilliantly unnerving I wanted to stand and applaud. But then again, I’m pretty weird.
Creepy, disturbing, and something that will probably stay with you long after you leave the theater, The Witch is a must see for anyone looking to scratch that horror itch. For everyone else, run away, fast.
Overall Score: 4.5/5 Stars
When I say it’s disturbing I don’t mean graphic. It’s a lot more about what you don’t see that’ll really keep you awake.