Written and directed by Robert Eggers
Out February 26
The Witch is only 92-minutes long, but it feels like an eternity. That’s usually a bad thing, but this thriller is such a hypnotic, terrifying experience, it speaks to the power of the filmmaking. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Thomasin, the eldest daughter of a Puritan family forced out of their New England village in 1630. Her parents William (Ralph Ineson) and Katherine (Game of Thrones’ Kate Dickie) establish a new farm on the edge of the woods, but it’s not too long before things start going oh-so wrong. Delightfully, deliciously, satanically wrong—with Thomasin shouldering the blame.
The Witch is shot in gloomy shades of blue, gray, and brown, with plenty of close-ups on the characters’ increasingly terrified faces. Taylor-Joy is terrific—rebellious and regretful in turn, with a hugely expressive face that’s often looking just off-camera at some new horror. The sound design is also hair-raising, and the interior shots are claustrophobically licked with candle-light. History buffs will be mesmerized by the detail that writer/director Robert Eggers has achieved, although the accents and dialects employed can be challenging. That’s OK, though, because you’ll want to watch The Witch again and again, finding new layers and possibilities each time.
Review by Jenni Miller
This review originally appeared in the February/March print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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