K J’s review published on Letterboxd:
The last hour of this film is exemplary in building tension slowly but surely. Jaws and The Shining are two of the best examples of slow tension building throughout the entire film, and although The Vvitch begins its tension building from the beginning, it doesn’t ever feel that way until the first half hour passes. Still, for me to even consider this in the same company as Jaws and The Shining in terms of tension building is an impressive feat for both Robert Eggers and The Vvitch.
The film is also incredibly well acted by the entire cast, the little kids are clearly the weakest link but that’s to be expected and also easily forgivable. Anna Taylor Joy gives a very strong performance here, and aside from her role in 2016’s Split it’s slightly disappointing she hasn’t been in better and higher quality films since then. Her most recent outing is in The New Mutants and despite the face that I have yet to see it, I feel confident in saying she certainly deserves better than that.
The eerie score helps give this film a real sense of uneasiness and panic throughout, but there are a few scenes where silence is used brilliantly in place of the score which also adds to the uneasy and panicked feeling.
The cinematography was, in a weird way, delightful to enjoy. From the beginning to the end of the film, there aren’t very many wasted shots. I could pick out a couple, but those are nitpicks more than anything. As mentioned, there aren’t very many wasted shots, every shot adds to the intensity of the film and some of the more creative camera shots, such as the camera being placed behind the father while praying over dinner add to the story in a clever, yet subtle way. In addition, the cinematography, alongside the score adds to the uneasiness and panic of the film.
Unlike movies where the acting carries the film, or one aspect overpowers another, both The Vvitch and Eggers other feature length film, The Lighthouse are superb examples of a film blending every aspect together incredibly well. My personal rating on this film is an 8/10.
The Vvitch, though not as memorable The Lighthouse is easily worth watching and I’m positive that if I understood more of it, I would’ve rated it even higher.