Horror is one of the most profitable genres in the industry. It costs very little to make and makes much more than anticipated, regardless of how awful the film is (The Devil Inside, for example). However, in the past couple of years, the audience has been blessed (or cursed?) with some decent films such as It Follows and The Babadook, which has given the horror fans a little bit more hope. That optimism could possibly grow with Robert Eggers’ debut, The Witch— a period piece horror that looks not only beautiful but also legitimately terrifying.
From the press release:
In this exquisitely-made and terrifying new horror film, the age-old concepts of witchcraft, black magic, and possession are innovatively brought together to tell the intimate and riveting story of one family’s frightful unraveling.
Set in New England circa 1630, The Witch follows a farmer who get cast out of his colonial plantation and is forced to move his family to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest rumored to be controlled by witches. Almost immediately, strange and unsettling things begin to happen–the animals turn violent, the crops fail, and one of the children disappears, only to return seemingly possessed by an evil spirit. As suspicion and paranoia mount, everyone begins to point the finger at teenage daughter Thomasin. They accuse her of witchcraft, which she adamantly denies…but as circumstances become more and more treacherous, each family member’s faith, loyalty, and love will be tested in shocking and unforgettable ways.
Writer/director Robert Eggers’ debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival (and won the Best Director Prize in the U.S. Narrative Competition), painstakingly recreates a God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which religious convictions and pagan folklore famously clashed. Told through the eyes of the adolescent Thomasin – in a star-making turn by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy – and supported by mesmerizing camera work and a powerful musical score, THE WITCH is a chilling and groundbreaking new take on the genre.
Runtime: 90 Minutes
Rating: R for disturbing violent content and graphic nudity
The Witch will be released next year.