Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Short Attention Span Review: The Witch (2015)

Short Attention Span Review: The Witch (2015)

Disclaimer: Witches give me the willies.  Keep that in mind as you read this review, for The Witch is most certainly the type of film that will captivate many while others will not be entranced in the slightest.  The period setting is perfectly captured and will enrich the experience for some, while others will find such detail to be tedious and the authentic puritan dialogue will be equally hit and miss.  The ominous score and the mounting dread should be impossible to ignore for any reasonable viewer, though the shape of the tale and the eventual outcome will leave many totally unsatisfied.  As for me, I'm not ashamed to admit that The Witch scared the shit out of me, and I found the conclusion to be nothing short of horrific.  The primal depiction of witchcraft and the subtlety with which evil poisons the proceedings slowly ensnared me, and by the time the credits rolled I couldn't help but feel that I had become trapped in a nightmare of the highest order.  In many ways, The Witch is a tough watch, and there is little reward for the audience in the absence of comic relief, thrills, or hope.  Writer and director Robert Eggers is clearly a force to be reckoned with, and Anya Taylor-Joy stands out in a tight ensemble piece where everyone delivers the goods.  Chilling, provocative yet reserved, and utterly unique, The Witch pulls off a rare feat in that it is both incredibly understated and incredibly frightening. 

Final Grade: A+

An intense and captivating picture that surely falls within the "love it or leave it" spectrum, The Witch scared the piss out of me.

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