Movie Review: The Witch

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Official Tagline: In 1630 New England, panic and despair envelops a farmer (Ralph Ineson), his wife (Kate Dickie) and four of their children when youngest son Samuel suddenly vanishes. The family blames Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), the oldest daughter who was watching the boy at the time of his disappearance. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, twin siblings Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson) suspect Thomasin of witchcraft, testing the clan’s faith, loyalty and love to one another.

Written by: Robert Eggers
Directed by: Robert Eggers

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw

“Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”
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The Witch from first time director, Robert Eggers is an impressive debut. I look forward to his future film work. As you may have noticed from some of my previous movie reviews, I am very skeptical of movies that have the same person doing the writing and directing, they usually fail, but here with The Witch, writer / director, Eggars does a very nice job balancing the story and creating an eerie, foreboding atmosphere that in other hands may have fallen short.
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From the first shot of the film to the final scene, there is a constant sense of dread. It is difficult to keep tension and suspense running throughout a film, but the actors and director capture the right notes that pull you into this story, almost dreading what may come. The Cinematography by Jarin Blaschke adds to the tension and suspense. The bleak countryside, the dark forbidden woods and even the interior candle light scenes pull your interest to the characters and what may lie just out of sight.
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The actors do a very good job portraying these simple people caught in an unworldly web of deceit, repressed desires and dark magic. Ralph Ineson as William, the religious, but prideful father whose world crumbles, is pitch perfect. Young Harvey Scrimshaw is Caleb, the eldest son trying to please his parents and come to grips with the strict religious teaching of his father and the isolated land they now live. The main character in The Witch is Thomasin, the eldest daughter, played by model turned actor Anya Taylor-Joy and after seeing this film you hope to see her in more films to come. Taylor-Joy is fantastic as the dutiful daughter blamed for the disappearance of infant son Samuel and later for all of the strange events that beset this frontier family.
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I’m not going to go into the plot or story. This is the kind of film that the less you know going in, the better. Just be aware that you are in for a creepy, scary, tension filled story of psychological horror and dark evil. I do want to warn you that the film has some dark screen transitions near the end of the film. When I viewed the film, a few people got up and walked out thinking the film was over and they missed a big reveal, so be sure the movie is over before you leave.If you like horror that makes you think and fills the screen with tension and dread, then see the dark magic of The Witch .

Screen Writer Ink
Fade In Is Just The Beginning

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