Hallow-vent Calendar - Day Three: The Witch

Welcome to our Hallow-vent Calendar; a horror-film-filled daily countdown to our favourite spooky celebration, Hallowe'en. For Day Three, David Ames heads for New England in the fall and watches The Witch...

There are very few things I can mention which truly frighten me: heights, clowns, more music from Five Finger Death Punch – the list is pretty short. When it comes to horror movies, I have never really been frightened. I may jump from time to time but overall, nothing really sticks with me. That all changed when I saw 2015’s The Witch. Robert Eggers, writer and director, has given us a true horror masterpiece. This next sentence will seem like high praise but I promise you it is the truth: The Witch belongs on par with classic psychological horror greats such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Shining. It is easily one of the most disturbing and unnerving films I have ever seen.

In 17th century New England, a puritan farmer is cast out from his community with his family: wife, daughter, son, a set of female-male twins, and a newborn. The forest is seen as the last citadel for the devil and in a puritanical society, the devil, and in turn witches, were seen as the biggest threat not only to life but to salvation. What follows is a haunting piece of film in which the entire family begins to self-destruct, anomalies occur, blame is placed incorrectly, and the shocking ending is far from predictable. I do not want to give anything away. Just know that this is unlike any horror movie I have seen before. There are little to no jump scares, gore, or anything of the like. This film is instead the perfect combination of acting, shooting, and music. It is shot beautifully so even if you aren’t a fan of horror films, watching simply for the filmmaking should be considered.

The filming uses only natural light so already there is a strange and eerie quality and the music is incredible—it is so effective that you will be on edge the entire time. It is slow-moving so if you do not enjoy that, this will not be for you, but if you want to watch something creepy and unsettling, something that will stay with you long after you watch, give The Witch a chance. It has received amazing reviews from damn near everyone and I have to agree with Drew McWeeny of Hitfix who sums up the feeling of the whole film with the statement, “It feels like something we shouldn’t be watching.”

Image - IMDb

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