What makes a horrormovie truly terrifying? I think that if you ask this question to five people at random, you might get five different answers. For some it might be jumpscares. For another it might be tons of blood and gore. For me it is atmosphere and tension. There are a few horrormovies that have a pretty slow build up, but have an underlying tension and atmosphere, that you pretty much get scared when your own telephone rings. If done well, a movie like that can crawl under your skin, and leave you breathless, afraid for what might happen next. The Witch pretty much falls into that category, allthough there are a few points where it does fall short.
This film is set in 1630 and takes place in colonial New England. A Puritan family is on trial for not speaking the true word of God. Eventually they are all banished, and the father together with his wife and all their children, then resettle at a small farm at the edge of a dark forest. One day the eldest daughter, Thomasin is out to play a game of Peek-A-Boo with the young baby of the family Sam. Just for laughs she covers her face to scare Sam, but all of a sudden he is gone. At first it is believed he has been taken by wolves. But slowly dark and evil things begin to happen and a sense of paranoia is beginning to creep over the family. The once strong household is on the brink of losing their faith, both in each other and in God. The mother is beginning to believe that they are under the curse of a witch, and that the witch might even be their daughter Thomasin….
Unsettling and very unnerving. I think those two words best describe this movie. This movie has a very dark and incredibly creepy vibe. I watched this film in total darkness, and the slowly build up tension truly made me feel scared at times. And no in case you are wondering, I don’t scare easily. However, the build up might have been just a bit too slow. For the first half not much of anything really happens, but because of the atmosphere that was done in a very believing way, I still kept watching. Another thing that is definitely worth mentioning is the acting. There are a few very young children in this movie, that get to play pretty tough roles, but they pull it of very well. The ending of the movie is a bit, how to put this, weird. I guess it did fit with the overall theme of the movie, as it was just as unnerving as the rest of the film. But still, some people might feel let down by it. If you like movies with a truly dark and forbidding feel to it, than you might definitely be interested in checking this one out.
I give The Witch a 8 out of 10 score.