Black magic, witch craft, folklore, and ominous cinematography… sounds like the perfect concoction for any horror fan right? Meh, I didn’t love the film and probably one of the very few who didn’t.
I applaud the use of a refreshing and different setting of the modern norm in which we time travel back to 1600s New England to pure colonial times. The story starts off with a Puritan family in court as they are banished by the Church away from the local town, in which they find refuge on an isolated farm near the daunting forest. They seem to have a steady team working household until the newborn baby mysteriously vanishes under the watch of the eldest daughter, in which ignites the cascade of mistrust, suspicion, and further unfortunate events. Without giving too much away, it sincerely had an intriguing premise. The set up for conflict was excellent and as a viewer, it was at times hard to decipher who or what was causing such sinister acts.
The Witch did include practical effects which is always a win with me, and the acting was also on point. There were definitely some cool concepts that we stereo-typically portray with witchcraft and black magic in which Robert Eggers executed quite nicely in compliment to the eerily desolate, remote farm house.
The overall mood of the film was quite suspenseful with a mix sense of panic, and utter gloom but found some characters just borderline annoying. In some cases this works well in horror films, but in this particular case, I just couldn’t help but feel an underlying irking sensation. Alongside this factor, another dilemma arose as I discovered a newfound distaste of the heavy English accents, in which I practically needed captions to understand some of the dialogue. However, it was manageable and didn��t COMPLETELY hinder my viewing experience, as actions were more valuable than words in this film.
Apart from the minor petty issues, by the ending of the movie I just wasn’t satisfied. I felt like the mystery started off very well, story line progressed into further terror, and then at one point it just lacked luster. It doesn’t have to be a complete blood bath for me to like a horror film, as I admittedly found it enjoyable to a certain extent, but I guess I’m beginning notice a pattern in my amusement levels if the antagonist doesn’t meet a certain criteria of malevolence.
However to each his own, not the first time a highly critically acclaimed horror didn’t tickle my fancy and I’m sure it will not be the last.
The Witch is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and on numerous online streaming outlets!