Friday, 11 March 2016

The Witch Review

What is it with witches? Almost 20 years ago The Blair Witch Project sent horror fans and the mainstream into a frenzy, and now comes The Witch to terrify cinema-goers all over again. The title of this film has been trending on my Twitter feed on and off for months now. 

This witch may not be from Blair, and she's definitely not part of any project, but she is as scary as Angelica Huston in The Witches. Yes I said it. 

I saw The Witch at the London Film Festival which I attended for Starburst Magazine. Here's a snippet of my review:

"What went we out into this wilderness to find", says patriarch Will at the beginning of Robert Eggers' spine-chilling debut feature The Witch. Anyone still smarting almost 20 years later over the complete lack of any witch sightings in The Blair Witch Project can rest assured that The Witch is not nearly as coy about revealing its scary woman in the woods. It may be a slow burner, but it builds to a crescendo that might very well give many horror fans a little too much full frontal witchery at the expense of some far more interesting earlier ambiguity.

A strict Christian family are banished from their plantation in 17th century New England; William (Ralph Ineson), Katherine (Kate Dickie), their four children and brand new baby boy. Settling on the edge of a dark forest, their crops will not grow and hunting in the woods results in no meat. Then, baby Sam mysteriously disappears without a trace while under the watch of oldest child Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy). Despair and desperation soon take hold of the family, leading to paranoia and a further descent into pious babbling. Eggers makes it clear that there is something wicked in the woods, but The Witch explores how innocent the family are themselves.

Here's the trailer:

More from the London Film Festival 2015

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