Review: The Witch
Director: Robert Eggers
By Kitty Turpin
The trailer to Robert Eggers’ The Witch is one of the only trailers I have seen, in the past few years, that has not revealed the whole movie and still left me feeling with the need to watch it.
The Witch follows the story of a christian family, banished from a Puritan Christian plantation in New England, and their life outside of the walls of the sanctuary, building their farm on the outskirts of one of the most creepy forests I’ve seen in a movie.
Relying heavily on sound to create an eery and unnerving atmosphere, The Witch is a fresh look at the horror movie genre, moving away from jump scares and “the more gore the better” that is the norm of the industry today. This is the movie’s downfall as well – I wasn’t scared. Though the movie made me feel uncomfortable, and it was, overall, an experience, the desensitisation that I’ve formed from watching horrors, left me wanting more from The Witch.
Perhaps this opinion is unwarranted. When detaching this film from the expectations of its genre, it is undoubtably beautiful. Yes, it’s not your Hollywood blockbuster that some critics were hoping to see – it is ultimately an indie movie. It stuck to the language, clothing and mannerisms of the period, with such young actors, Anya Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw notably, giving compelling presentations of characters. Scrimshaw’s possessed scene sent shivers down my spine.
With the spotlight now facing Robert Eggers’ future film endeavours as a director Eggers’ has confirmed that The Witch will not receive a sequel. In a genre where films can have multiple sequels and spin offs that are ultimately prolonging the death of a mediocre franchise, I am happy with Eggers’ decision to leave this master piece intact.