The Witch follows a family from the 1600s that endures dark happenings that are believed to be committed by a witch in the woods, or perhaps their own daughter.
As a self-proclaimed amateur film viewer, I pronounce that I'm only on the hunt to find a Very Scary Movie™. One which will rattle my senses and shake my feeling of safety to my bones. I crave suspense, thrills, or anything that will make me feel something and I’m willing to suckle at the teats of many a spooky mistress until I’ve gotten my fear fill. However, I’ve yet to experience a movie that would frighten me. For some comparison: the scariest part of Halloween is the social anxiety about whether or not children will drop by my house unannounced. Without boring you readers with my lackluster movie-viewing background, I hope it will suffice to say that I don’t consider myself a serious critic, simply someone who knows when she’s enjoyed a movie. I don’t follow up on the projects of certain directors or fawn over the newest feature from a production company generally held in high regard. My basic thoughts are: Does this movie look good- yes or no? Does this movie scare me- yes or no? If this makes me a film layman (laywoman?), then I am happy to be one. I’m here to provide my honest, unbiased look at the horror genre in search of a Very Scary Movie™.
The Witch Review
I started my quest to find a Very Scary Movie™ by watching The VVitch.
From a production standpoint, the movie itself was amazing. Artfully crafted and the effects were well-made (blood looked like blood, no obvious CGI, etc.). The ambient soundtrack of off-key strings is perfect to set the tone of a dismal, grey, Puritanical New England in the 1600s with the threat of witchery ever present. As the movie opens you are immediately blasted into the past with Ralph Ineson’s gravelly voice presenting a wonderful script of old-timey English: “good morrow”, “the devil hold fast your eyelids”, “I love thee marvelous well”, and many “thou’s, hath’s, dost’s”. While not immediately relatable, the way the cast spoke grew on me and became understandable by the end. The plot is engaging- a malevolent force is picking off family members one by one. At no point did the story feel “stuck” or “slow”.
AT THE END, ALL THE WITCHES ARE CHANTING NAKED IN THE FOREST AROUND A BONFIRE AND THEN THEY START FLOATING WHILE THE DEVIL IN THE SHAPE OF A BLACK GOAT LOOKS ON. WHY DO THEY FLOAT? IS IT BECAUSE THEY’RE SO ENRAPTURED? DO PEOPLE THINK THAT IS SCARY?
WHICH PART OF THIS MOVIE WAS ACTUALLY FRIGHTENING?
I mean yeah, a baby is ground up into human paste and slathered on like Jergens by some old witch. Gross and disturbing- yes. But scary? It wasn’t for me.
The jump scare when the pretty witch in the forest grabs the oldest brother Caleb after he wanders off was surprising no doubt, but not scary.
I thoroughly enjoyed the big ASMR vibes in Black Phillip’s (devil goat) famed scene: “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?” Why yes Black Phillip, I would like to live deliciously; just keep talking and maybe I’ll get chills so at least I’d feel something during this movie...
Tirade over. I guess I could consider this a horror movie, though it viewed more like a period drama with a side of creepy to me. I was mostly just impressed at the overall atmosphere, the soundtrack, the script, and the cast. I’ve watched this movie three times in the last four days and didn’t get sick of it.
Good movie? Yes.
Scary movie? Not for me.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10 Horror Quality: 3/10 Film Quality: 9/10
Until next time,