The Witch ★★★★

Ever since I caught wind of its trailer last summer, Robert Eggers' directorial debut The Witch has been one of my most anticipated horror films. After getting around to it at last, I'm pleased to say that it was well worth my wait.

From the start, The Witch illustrates itself as a tense, deeply atmospheric crawl. It Old English representation is some of the best I've ever seen and really sets the stage for the forthcoming tale - one that is dismal, dreary, and genuinely creepy. Although slow to start, it's not difficult for one to be quickly and fully immersed in such an otherworldly environment.

To me, in terms of tone, this felt like some peculiar combination between There Will Be Blood and Von Trier's Antichrist. Nonetheless, this fascination with pitch-black spirituality, along with its music and breathtaking cinematography, create such a unique horror that could hardly be comparable with much else. Its small cast of characters are certainly compelling and I'm especially impressed with every child actor involved. Although I'd hesitate to call it the feminist masterpiece that everyone else seems apt toward, I do admire this approach, certainly with the concept of these disruptive witches shaking up a strict and rigid world order.

While it's probably not what the film was going for, I found some of its intentional vagueness unanswered questions to be frustrating. Yet this is but a mild complaint toward a film that, nonetheless, shook me to the bone and left me utterly disarrayed for hours afterward. While this is an impressive debut for Eggers, I'm in greater anticipation over what the young Anya Taylor-Joy is capable of in her surely promising future.

Lyzette liked these reviews