May 11, 2016


Review: The Witch

The Witch is more haunting than it is scary. It has an auteur style rooted in realism and so it plays out as if we’re watching a drama about a real family unfold before our very eyes. Albeit, this family is being supernaturally attacked.

I went into this film not knowing anything about it other than the title and a one time view of a trailer, I had since forgotten. So I didn’t have any expectations except that there could be a witch in this film.

I was pleasantly surprised that the film is unlike the typical horror movie. It’s set during the salem witch trials where paranoia infected communities and resulted in the unfortunate killings of innocent people, who were suspected of witchcraft.

But The Witch is a more personal story. Instead of a community, it centers on a family: a husband and wife, along with their 5 children, which includes an infant.

At the core is the father’s strict religious belief. He’s a Christian, who lives his live through God. The movie begins with a trial in which the family is banished because of the father’s religious views and his criticisms on how the community isn’t as holy as he feels they should be.

The family is forced into isolation, living on a small piece of land that is watched by a witch. When something bad happens, the family is left confused.

The characters didn’t automatically assume witchcraft. It was almost as if, this family knew of witches but it was more like something they had heard . They didn’t actively choose witchcraft as the go-to reason.

And so, it’s not until time and other events occur that the family becomes terrified and the paranoia sets in. The movie moves like a slow burn as we watch the seeds of fear creep in, and we come to understand the importance of God in their lives.

And it’s an interesting study to watch the father’s choices. His beliefs—or more exactly, his arrogance that only his lifestyle was Godly enough as compared to the of society—condemned his family to this situation and now what next? What decisions would he choose?

The conflict within him is compelling to watch. As well as, the pressure put upon the family as this once strong unit begins to crumble.

Now the ending is a bit wonky. But after reflection, I liked it better than when I originally saw it. The acting by everyone, including the children, is very good. And the dialect felt so real.

All in all, I liked it. It felt fresh and it wasn’t predictable.

Score: 8/10


About Lisa

Passionate about movies and writing. Hopes to someday be a published writer. So when she's not staring at the tube, she's spilling her imagination onto a blank page.

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