Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Review

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Witch - LA Times

"It's the rare horror film that sows suspicion into nearly every frame, so intent on a darkening mood that the stillness of trees at the edge of a wood, or a child's face in demonic thrall, even an ambling goat, carries the same capacity to unnerve. Such is the detail that Robert Eggers brings to his impressive debut feature "The Witch," a grim wade into the disintegration of a besieged God-fearing New England family in the early 17th century. If ever a chiller deserved that overused foodie tag "artisanal," this painstakingly crafted bid for naturalistic creeps does. (Are we surprised that Eggers, who won last year's directing award at Sundance for "The Witch," is based in that epicenter of the culturally authentic, Brooklyn?)
 Set decades before Salem stamped the ravages of devil hysteria into the history books, "The Witch" opens with English farmer William (Ralph Ineson), his stern-faced wife, Katherine (Kate Dickie), and their brood of five, banished from their Puritan community over a religious disagreement. They decamp to an open stretch of land next to a menacing forest that might as well have an "Abandon hope all ye who enter here" sign out front to go with the shrieky-strings music score. After the family's newborn goes missing during an outing with restless teenage daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), an already charged atmosphere of financial hardship, rigorous piety and social exile turns rancorous when a barely coping, grieving Katherine suspects Thomasin of witchcraft. Beleaguered William initially defends his daughter, but even his faith is tested when the next-oldest, Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), ventures into the woods to hunt and disappears too."

I love watching scary movies, but I was unsure if The Witch would actually be frightening. After reading this review, however, I think I will give it a chance. The writer was very descriptive and convincing. I liked how he kept asserting that this scary movie is different from others, making me very curious about the film. 

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