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

  • MasterChef Canada's Aaron Polsky is picking Trevor to win it all

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    MasterChef Canada’s Aaron Polsky was sent home this week after his vegetarian tagine failed to impress the judges. But that wasn’t the hardest loss he took while competing in the MasterChef Canada kitchen. Losing the Restaurant Takeover in Chef Michael Bonacini’s north Toronto landmark Auberge du Pommier earlier in the episode stung the worst. Source
  • 'Star Trek: Discovery' adds several Canadian actors

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO - Several Canadians have joined the cast of the Toronto-shot series "Star Trek: Discovery." Rekha Sharma of Vancouver will play Commander Landry, the security officer of the Starship Discovery. Toronto's Kenneth Mitchell has been cast as Kol, a commanding officer in the Klingon Empire. Source
  • Judges seal warrants related to arrest of 'Bachelor' star

    Entertainment CTV News
    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Applications for warrants that allowed police to arrest "The Bachelor" star Chris Soules after a fatal crash and to obtain his blood and urine samples will be sealed indefinitely under rulings issued Friday. Source
  • 'Casting JonBenet' review: Reliving a tabloid sensation

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Yesterday’s media circus is today’s documentary. It has, recently, seemed like all the stories that once dominated our tabloids are now cramming our screens. O.J. Simpson, Anthony Weiner, Amanda Knox. It’s as though we’re haunted by the ghost of nightly-news past. Source
  • Fyre Festival postponed after reports of Hunger Games-like conditions emerge

    Entertainment CBC News
    The inaugural Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, a two-week music event promoted by celebrities including supermodels Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, was postponed Friday after attendees reported dilapidated accommodations, and top-billed performers pulled out. The Coachella-like festival, set to run this weekend and next weekend on the Exuma Islands, was co-organized by rapper Ja Rule. Source
  • Cutting the cord: Five things to consider before ditching traditional TV

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Snip. Snip. Snip. That’s the sound of hundreds of thousands of Canadians cutting the cord, choosing to leave behind traditional television in favour of online streaming alternatives. Whether they’re fed up with sky-high cable bills or simply part of a generation that never really tuned in to begin with, more and more of us are turning our backs on old-timey TV. Source
  • What will a Hollywood writers’ strike mean?

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Hollywood is facing a cliffhanger after members of the Writers Guild of America voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike that could begin as soon as next week. Negotiations resumed Tuesday as the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers grapple over issues including compensation and health care. Source
  • Feist shows off 'Pleasure' at intimate Toronto show

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Feist took us to church on Thursday night as the enchanting Canadian singer-songwriter-guitarist launched her first album in six years, Pleasure, with a record release show at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. This meant the vocally-blessed Toronto-based artist (she was born in Nova Scotia, but raised in Calgary) performed for an hour-and-45-minutes in the beautiful confines of a 125-year-old church with high ceilings, curved archways, stained glass windows and wooden pews on a dark and stormy night…
  • Much-hyped music festival in Bahamas cancelled at last minute

    Entertainment CTV News
    MIAMI -- The organizers of a much-hyped music festival in the Bahamas have been forced to cancel the weekend event at the last minute. Fyre Festival organizers announced the cancellation of the "once-in-a-lifetime" concert on Twitter and their website after many fans had already arrived. Source
  • Judge: Cosby jury can hear about quaaludes, not Spanish fly

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA - Jurors at Bill Cosby's sex assault trial in Pennsylvania will hear his explosive deposition testimony about quaaludes but not his references to the supposed aphrodisiac Spanish fly. The 79-year-old Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004. Source