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About the Movie
New England, 1630. Upon threat of banishment by the church, an English farmer leaves his colonial plantation, relocating his wife and five children to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest — within which lurks an unknown evil. Strange and unsettling things begin to happen almost immediately — animals turn malevolent, crops fail, and one child disappears as another becomes seemingly possessed by an evil spirit. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, family members accuse teenage daughter Thomasin of witchcraft, charges she adamantly denies. As circumstances grow more treacherous, each family member's faith, loyalty and love become tested in shocking and unforgettable ways.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 276
- Fresh: 252
- Rotten: 24
- Average Rating: 7.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: "The Witch" feels at once sticky with tangible detail and numinous with suggestion.
Fresh: The Witch is sparing in its use of special effects and generates suspense and foreboding through what is suggested rather than what is seen.
Fresh: In the tradition of William Friedkin's The Exorcist, this chilling low-budget horror movie taps into the same temporal fear that sparks religious feeling.
Fresh: A powerful example of minimalist horror film-making at its best, where less is definitely more and mood proves itself infinitely more unsettling and unnerving than visual effects.
Disregard the previous comment: there was no jump scares in this movie - and that’s OK! Nowadays, the horror genre focuses too hard on either the gore (ahem…SAW) or the jump scares, when really all you need to understand is the real definition of horror. Mr. Eggers does exactly that. Building off of the Puritan repression, this small family soon finds itself in it’s own personal hell as things take a supernatural turn as winter begins to approach. This film was by far one of my favorite horror movies in such a long time, for it isn’t “OMG THAT WAS SO TERRIFYING” of a film, it’s more of an unsettling/disturbing, makes you think, gets your skin crawling, biting your lip because you’re nervous sort of film. This folklore of a scary movie is definitely one I’ll see again and again, as well as push on other horror fans, while definitely buying my own copy. Loved it.
Not for everyone.
I'll admit, this movie is not for everyone. It's definitely not for someone who is looking for some cheap jump scares. This is not that kind of horror movie. I personally like all kinds of horror movies. The kind that are cheesy, gory, slow paced, filled with jump scares, etc. I like them all. This movie is slow but it's like a ghost story in the sense that it doesn't scare you so much visually, but it makes you feel eerie. This movie creeped me out and made me think a lot about how religion played into the decisions and outcomes of many families and how they dealt with tragedy in those times. The acting was phenomenal, specifically from Ana Taylor Joy and the boy who played her brother. The accents were not personally hard for me to understand, but that's me. The scenery and the way the movie was shot was also really enjoyable and it added to the creep factor since the family lived in the middle of nowhere next to the woods. I just don't understand why all the people that hate it so much have to bash others for liking it. So you thought it was slow, so what? If you didn't like it I respect that, but respect that people saw this and enjoyed the creep factor of it. Not all of us need guts and gore to enjoy a horror movie. I look forward to buying this movie when it comes out!
The Horror we deserve!
The Witch is a breath of terrifyingly fresh air for the horror genre and fans alike. With the old English dialogue, terrifyingly lengthy reaction shots and an honestly grim depiction of 17th century America, the grief that befalls upon this family feels even more realistic once it unfolds. The scares aren't cheap, which sadly normal audiences have scummed to as the new "norm" of horror. It's scares come from the heaviness and tension the environment offers throughout the entirety of the film. With disturbing imagery and a stark realization of our country in these desperate times, The Witch offers nothing but terror and dread from start to finish, from the very moment we step foot into those woods, to the moment the screen goes black.