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The Witch (2015)

Review by CJ

Director:
Robert Eggers

Starring:
Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw

Other notable appearances:
Julian Richings

Running time:
92 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
The Blair Witch Project, Blair Witch, The Village, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House

 

A family is forced to live off the land in 1630 New England after they are exiled from their village. Their cosy home quickly becomes fraught with distrust, suspicion and hatred after the youngest son is stolen by a witch.

IMDb lists The Witch as a horror/mystery film, which is odd as I didn’t feel there was much in the way of either. I went into The Witch hoping it would be great as I had seen people talking about how good it is and it made its way on to a horror movie challenge I am determined to finish.

Instead, what I found when I watched The Witch was a dull film that is filled with inconsistent dialogue, predictable twists, and a flimsy story based mostly around children pointing fingers at each other. 

The story in The Witch goes a whole lotta nowhere in a really long time then makes a mad dash towards the end. This gives the viewer time to pick up on inconsistencies like the characters switching from “ye olde English” to more formal or modern vernacular, often in the same sentence. A good example is the way the characters jump between thy/thine and you/your. There wasn’t even a saving grace in the form of a twist ending because I saw it coming from so far away it may as well have been a herd of elephants.

The acting was pretty average, but that’s something I’m usually pretty ready to forgive (or enjoy) if the movie is enjoyable or if it suits the tone of the film. Unfortunately for The Witch, it was neither in this case. 

I will give credit where it is due, The Witch is visually stunning. The sets, the use of natural light and the locations are all gorgeous, gothic and foreboding. 

I just really didn’t enjoy The Witch and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. However, if you really love atmospheric films with ‘horror themes’ and a big lead up to not much of anything, then you may enjoy The Witch.

Rating:

“Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”

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