New England, 1630: William and Katherine try to lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. 'The Witch' is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own sins, leaving them prey for an inconceivable evil.
The singing sound effect, with the female chorus wailing out ominously in the background, used when the family is looking into the trees of the forbidden Forrest, or when the witch is summoning and tempting Caleb to walk forward towards her outside her house, is very similar to the background sound effect with the chorus wailing out that Stanley Kubrick uses several times in 2001, when the apes see the monolith at the beginning of that movie, or when the astronaut Dave (Kier Duella) flies into the black hole at the ending into the realm of the Star Children. See more »
The desperately poor family is shown eating by the light of multiple candles. Candles were extremely expensive in colonial New England and would have been used very sparingly. See more »
[before the court]
What went we out into this wilderness to find? Leaving our country, kindred, our fathers houses? We have travailed a vast ocean. For what? For what?
We must ask thee to be silent!
Was it not for the pure and faithful dispensation of the Gospels, and the Kingdom of God?
No More! We are *your* judges, and not you ours!
I cannot be judged by false Christians, for I have done nothing, save preach Christ's true Gospel.
Must you continue to dishonor the laws of the ...
[...] See more »
The less you know about this film before you watch it, the better. The themes could find no better setting than the 17th century New England recluse scenery where this mythos has the precise place to exist and expand on its own.
First time writer/director Robert Eggers is given (almost) full liberty to embrace and elaborate on the weird and the hypnotic, creating an ever-growing and unsettling atmosphere of fear and discomfort. The film hearkens back to those classical psychological frightening horror movies of old, such as Rosemary's Baby or The Haunting where more is made out of less: suggestion is key, actual display is minimal (but ever present and upcoming). When the time comes, the unsettlement is so severe that the Gothic-demented folkloric horror shown grabs hold of whatever composure is left. The Witch is a superior film, masterfully shot and executed, not designed for repeated viewings but intended for a lasting imprint of fear and homage to the mythology it is inspired by.
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