“The trend recent years seems to be that each year has one truly fantastic horror film in the middle of all the hackneyed rip offs that are released. Last year had It Follows. The year before was The Babadook. All signs seemed to point to The Witch being that film this year. 88% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Stephen King saying it terrified him. Eli Roth saying it was the best horror film he’d seen in a year. Me? I just didn’t get it.
Set in 1630s New England, The Witch follows a Puritan family who have set out to live out on their own. While in their self imposed primitive isolation, weird things start to happen. Evil things that tear this little family apart.
On paper, it all sounds excellent. I think my single biggest problem (which most of my smaller gripes trace back to) is the language. A lot of the dialog is taken directly from reports of witcraft and demonic activity at the time, much of which would eventually lead into the Salem Witch trials. It sounds pretty cool, but the unfamiliar and antiquated locution combined with some very heavy British accents was very difficult to pick up on. The whole time, I prayed for subtitles. Conversations took me some time to process, and some ran by way too quickly.
This may be because I’m too jaded, but I didn’t find it particularly scary. Freaky, yes. Unsettling, certainly. But scared isn’t how I would describe my feeling. It could also be that I was overthinking things, hoping for some sort of closure or explanation that never really came.
The movie really was gorgeous, and expertly crafted. I just didn’t care for it as much as everyone else seems to have.
The Witch – \m/ \m/ \n”