Review: 'The Witch' an unconventional, bewitching horror film

THE WITCH: 3 ½ STARS

"The Witch" is the kind of horror film that is not content to simply say "Boo!" There are few, if any, jump scares in the film.

See Full Article

Instead, it’s the kind of puritanical folk tale that slowly burrows itself into your brain, leaving you queasy and uneasy.

Set in New England, 1630 the movie centers on Christian settlers William, Katherine (Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie, both of "Game of Thrones") and their five children, a family banished from their church and community to seek out a life on the outskirts of town.

Bordered by an ominous forest, their remote new home offers little in the way of comfort, spiritual uplift or sustenance.

Plagued by grinding poverty and crop failure, the devote family is rocked when their baby son is stolen while under the care of eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy). The disappearance is chalked up to something satanic—perhaps a witch from the woods—and a pall of distrust and fear envelops the family, tearing away at the very core of their lives—their faith.

The Witch film review

"The Witch" is a slow burn (in hell). Screenwriter and first time director Robert Eggers takes his time building up to a bewitchingly strange climax, toggling between paranoia and illusory (or are they?) elements to allow the dread to mount.

He creates a compact but complete and complex world for his characters to inhabit, chock-a-block with interesting details. Much of the dialogue was borrowed from contemporary trial transcripts and journals and comes heavily laden with religious fervour and the wilderness provides a gloomy backdrop, providing with creepy sounds and the possibility of evil. Everything, every creaking tree branch, every image seems to take on meaning as the hysteria increases.

As William, Ineson is a stern, austere man ruled by his religion, even if it means denying his daughter. The real revelation here is Anya Taylor-Joy as the put-upon daughter whose tests the family’s ideas of faith, loyalty and love.

The Witch film review

"The Witch" won’t be for everyone, and certainly not for casual horror fans. There’s no Freddys or Jasons in sight, just pure terror.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Donald Trump tried to date Emma Thompson

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Emma Thompson was once a favourite of President Donald Trump. The actress, who has been married to actor Greg Wise since 2003, has revealed the future leader of the free world once tried to charm her into going on a date with him, while she was filming 1998 movie Primary Colors. Source
  • Amy Schumer bails on Barbie

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Amy Schumer has dropped out of the Barbie movie. The actress/comedian signed on to play the woman who inspired Mattel’s popular doll for Sony, but scheduling conflicts have forced her to bow out. “Sadly, I’m no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts,” Schumer said in a statement released on Thursday. Source
  • 'Qapla'!': Timmins, Ont. Klingons raise their flag at city hall to celebrate 50th anniversary

    Entertainment CBC News
    There's a flag flying in front of the city hall in Timmins, Ont. — but it's not one that usually adorns municipal buildings. On earth. The raising of the Klingon Empire flag in northern Ontario this week doesn't mean the battle-hungry alien race of warriors, made popular in the Star Trek television franchise, has conquered the region. Source
  • 'Life' review: Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds' space horror a real treat for the audience

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The film "Life" is a test-tube baby, born from a blend of old-school monster-movie DNA and state-of-the-art digital effects. At times silly - yet surprisingly satisfying - this tale of sci-fi suspense and horror, set in the weightless environment of the International Space Station, gives Emmanuel Lubezki's vertiginous "Gravity" cinematography a run for its money, with dizzyingly deft camera choreography and long, unbroken takes shot by Seamus McGarvey ("Nocturnal Animals," "The Avengers") that…
  • Feds promise more money for arts, culture in budget but with few details

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Liberal government promised more funding for arts and culture in Wednesday's budget, but offered few concrete details as to what the money will be spent on. The budget promised an extra $1.8 billion for culture and recreation over the next decade, starting next year. Source
  • There are few details but here's what the federal budget means for the arts

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Liberal government promised more funding for arts and culture in Wednesday's budget, but offered few concrete details as to what the money will be spent on. The budget promised an extra $1.8 billion for culture and recreation over the next decade, starting next year. Source
  • Russia, Ukraine at odds over singer's Eurovision performance

    Entertainment CTV News
    GENEVA -- Eurovision song contest organizers say they have taken the unprecedented step of offering to let Russia's contestant perform via satellite after authorities in host Ukraine banned her from entering the country -- a proposal that was immediately rejected by a Russian state broadcaster. Source
  • 'Who else would I be thinking about'; John Mayer never got over Katy Perry

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    John Mayer cried as he channelled his heartbreak over his split from Katy Perry into his new single Still Feel Like Your Man. The stars dated on and off from 2012 until early 2016, and although Perry promptly moved on with British actor Orlando Bloom, Mayer admits he never fully got over the break-up, because their relationship had meant so much to him. Source
  • Filmmaker finds Edmonton short on equipment, crews and funding

    Entertainment CBC News
    Michael Maxxis is discovering the joys and challenges of shooting a feature film in his hometown of Edmonton. The Alberta capital is still a city in training when it comes to film infrastructure, he said. Source
  • Bob Dylan holds forth on Frank Sinatra, Joan Baez, Minnesota in rare interview

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    An old rock-and-roll legend has it that Bob Dylan and George Harrison were supposed to record with Elvis Presley, but The King was a no-show. As Dylan tells it, though, Presley "did show up, it was us that didn't. Source