Man, did I have some trouble with this film at the start! Set in 1630's New England, everything about THE WITCH is spot on. Including the dialogue, which is hard to understand and made the movie difficult to follow sometimes. Luckily, the films horror atmosphere made up for my nit picks in authenticity.
I tend to stay away from horror films that deal with witchcraft and the occult. Things like that are way more terrifying (and real) than monsters, zombies, or Jason Voorhees. But with the rave reviews that THE WITCH has been receiving, I couldn't resist!
The story is simple, a family gets banished from a town for being too religious. Our maybe it's vice versa? Anyways, the family moves and sets up a farm on the edge of the woods. Everything seems hunky dory until the witch of the forest takes their newborn baby. After that, life on the farm isn't so great. The crops start to rot, goats milk blood, and the family starts to unravel at the seems. Fingers are pointed laying blame on who is a witch and who is not.
To reveal more would get into spoilers and ruin some horrific imagery that should be experienced on your own for those interested in seeing the film.
My first impression of THE WITCH after it was over wasn't good. I didn't like the movie. But on the way home from the theater I kept thinking about the mood and atmosphere of the film, and quickly my opinion changed. THE WITCH is a great horror film! In the titles and on the poster it says the movie is “A New England Folktale”. And it very much so feels like one!
What may upset a lot of moviegoers is that the film has pretty much zero jump scares, and you only see the witch/witches like 3 or 4 times. But with the creepy woods and dreaded atmosphere, I always had this feeling that something evil was always present!
And thinking back, I wonder now if William's family got banished in the first place was because the townsfolk sensed that something was just not right? I bring this up because after the newborn is taken away, there are accusations of witchcraft within the family. And spoiler alert, one of them becomes a witch! Was it witchcraft at play or destiny? THE WITCH never answers questions like these and the film is better off for it.
If you're a fan of horror movies and are tired (like I am) of teeny-bopper PG-13 jump scare crap, then I highly recommend THE WITCH. And as a bonus you'll probably see the trailer for THE CONJURING 2 which was amazing, but will probably suck because it's a sequel.