Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
1922. 1488. 2019. It doesn't matter. In many ways, we like to imagine whatever was in the past is indeed the past, but in some ways it's still very much present. Stringing together vignettes and images to describe witchcraft during the Middle Ages in what seemed like an experiment in mankind's imagination became a very pointed commentary in humanity's failings not just in the Middle Ages but in all of history. In the face of something unusual or different or what have you, we have the tendency to respond with ill will. It's been unfortunately proven time and time again. Are we more enlightened than before?
As director Benjamin Christensen begins to point out towards the end, explaining how the accused "witches" would face death and torture, and linking them to what would be called hysteria at the time, it was like the film took a turn to show its true face. Certainly, a film could indeed be interpreted in different ways, but the director's intent couldn't have been more obvious than this. I just mean that in a wonderful way.
Now I think of it, I cannot think of a film that's just as unique as this is. The commentary aside, you'll get your fill of the macabre, the weird, the gross and just horrifying. It's just cherry on top when you become aware of the director's intent, and it makes it all worth it. Unfortunately timeless.