Hey everyone! So… I love movies, more than I love books. Those of you that know me, know I have an obsession. It’s beyond addiction. Since this blog is photos and journaling, let’s do a movie review!
The Witch: A New England Folktale
Release Date: February 16 2016 (USA)
Written and Directed by:Robert Eggers.
The movie is about a family of seven in 1630’s New England. Their simple life on the farm becomes sinister when the youngest of the 5 children, an infant goes missing literally in the blink of an eye. A grieving family becomes suspicious of witchcraft. Then another child goes missing, only to return very ill. The eldest child Tomasine, claims her innocence and blames her two younger siblings, twins of consorting with their aggressive Ram. Rams in are symbolic of the Devil. The family begins to live in hysteria especially the mother and believes that Tomasine is a witch. Looking for answers Tomasine begins to seek the Devil in the Ram and the story takes a turn for the worst.
If you are unfamiliar with the history of this time, here are the highlights. Settlers from Europe came over to America, the East coast first and began laying down roots. In Europe, many years before the settlers came over if anything negative befell a person, a death, illness, anything it was believed to be the work of the Devil and or Witchcraft. When the first settlers came over they brought those ideas with them. Religion was the only Salvation. In the late 1600’s particularly in Salem, MA the famous Witch Trials began. More than 200 men, women and children were accused and 20 were executed. This was a very extremest practice but for the people of this time it was very “real” to them.
While I enjoyed the historic aspect of this movie, it is claimed to be a Horror and it was not. Yes, I will agree that it was sinister and at times uncomfortable but to call it horror is a little over the top. The cast was wonderful! Each character played such an important part and added to overall effect of the movie. I think that Eggers really captured what the hysteria of this time really was. He didn’t romanticize what witchcraft was and is. While I love movies with witches and witches in general, she is not a woman talking into a mirror or a woman with a horned crown and a crow on her shoulder. During this time and the many years before witches and witchcraft was ugly and raw. It was full of blood and death and sex. It was uncomfortable and evil. Eggers nailed that aspect.
Overall I give this movie 3 stars. The saving grace was the history and the ending, otherwise it would have been a mix of The Crucible meets An American Haunting. If you enjoy a historical/semi biographical yet folklore-ish movie, watch it. The story is haunting.