The Witch

Rated 5.0

Unlike The Blair Witch Project, this Sundance award-winning directorial debut—and total masterpiece—from Robert Eggers, who also wrote the script, actually has a witch in it. She makes her first appearance very early on in the film, and she’s doing a bad thing. A really, really, horribly disturbing, oh-that’s-how-this-movie-is-really-going-to-start bad thing. Set in 1630s New England with an exceptional attention to detail, there are plenty of ways to interpret the events and themes of The Witch—the mark of a good, heady horror film. Eggers has made a horror movie with some major meat on the bone that stands in league with such classics as The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. And, oh lordy, is this film creepy. The sense of dread kicks in immediately after William (Ralph Ineson) is banished from his New England settlement for getting a little too over-the-top with his religious beliefs. He, his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie), their little baby, their oldest daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), and creepy twins Mercy and Jonas (Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson) must head out into the gray forests and fields to make a life away from government and society. What follows are hellish encounters with different incarnations of the witch, talking goats, possessed kids, and a bunch of other stuff that will unsettle you. Eggers has made a great movie that can be interpreted many different ways. If it doesn’t scare you, you are far braver than me.