‘The Witch’ review
Robert Eggers creates a truly chilling tale in his directorial debut, “The Witch.” The film, which follows an ostracized family in 1630 in early colonial America, is a refresher from the recent mainstream horror movies which largely rely on jump scares and shock value. The combination of a dramatic score, good directing and pacing, and seamless performances make for an unsettling story that delivers a deeper impact than cheap thrills.
The main character of the film is Thomasin, the teenage daughter in a deeply religious family living on their own at the edge of the woods. One day when Thomasin is watching her baby brother, playing peek-a-boo, and when she opens her eyes the baby is gone. The family comes the conclusion that the baby was taken by the wolf, but as more strange and insidious things start to happen the family begins to suspect that their maybe something bigger at play.
Though the title would suggest that the Big Bad the family is working against is a witch, the enemy is actually evil itself. There’s a theme of people succumbing to sin, which manifests itself differently in each of the family members. It makes for a film that’s not only thought provoking, but terrifying. How do you fight something as ancient and ubiquitous as evil itself.
Thomasin is played by Anya Taylor-Joy. This role marks the first major character she’s played in a feature length film. Her performance was flawless; she made the character seem human and relatable and easy to empathize with. Though all the actors did marvelous jobs in their roles, Taylor-Joy really stole the show. If this movie is any indication, the young actress has a very bright future ahead of her.
The score, composed by Mark Korven, greatly contributes to the overall tone of the movie. Korven used unique, almost obsolete instruments, like hurdy gurdys and nyckelharpas to give the songs a distinct and eerie sound. Equally important is the movie’s coloring. The sort of desaturation of the film made the scenery more somber and ominous.
The movie is thoroughly creepy and interesting. Definitely worth a watch for any mature audience. “The Witch” is currently showing at Premiere Cinema at Basset Center and at Cinemark East Montana and XD.
By Sienna Mata