Review: The Witch
After Willam (Ralph Ineson) and his family are banished from their plantation, they strike up a life in the wilderness, barely getting by. Their crops are failing, their newborn baby disappears while under the watch of oldest daughter, Thomasin. (Anya Taylor-Joy) William's wife, Kate (Katie Dickie) starts to lose her faith, and things keep getting even more strange as the smaller children believe a Witch has cursed their family.
This is a film I've been looking forward to since it premiered at Sundance. Christian fundamentalism fascinates me in a completely morbid way, so a film about a family like that in the 1600's is instantly appealing.
Director Robert Eggers based a lot of the dialogue off of fables and stories written around this time, so the puritanical nature is captured well. There's an underlying creepiness throughout that goes into full swing when we hit the 3rd act. Although the film suffers from a serious pacing problem. It trudges along slowly and doing so, it might make the ending anti climatic for some.
The acting here is fantastic. Katie Dickie is always reliable, but the two stars are Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw who plays the oldest son, Caleb. I hope these two get plenty of work following this because they showed incredible range and were easily my two favorite characters. (And also the only two, minus the baby I didn't feel like punching at least once during the film's run time) The Witch succeeds in being very unsettling and gives us something that I feel like we haven't seen lately in the horror world.
Memorable Quote: 'Twas only a jest." - Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy)