Starring: Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, and Kate Dickle
Directed By: Robert Eggers
Plot: A colonial family struggles to stay alive as a witch looms over their family. I don’t want to give anything away, so that’s the best plot description you’re gonna get.
What Works: It looks good. The child actors are pretty good. The score is pretty much your typical horror film bullshit where the score gets louder to try and build tension. So if you like typical horror scores, then you’ll like this. It tries to be something different, and do something a different way. There’s some interesting visuals here with the cinematography. I’d say the film looks good.
What Doesn’t Work: Pretty much everything else. I normally don’t watch horror films. I think they’re dumb. I heard The Witch was different, but it’s still pretty much the same thing, just more boring. It tries to be a “slow burn” horror, but it ended up boring me instead. And it still goes for the jump scares, which I hate. Hitchcock didn’t do jump scares. It’s possible to be a good horror director without jump scares. When your best scare in the movie is a jump scare, you’ve failed. Luckily, it only runs 90 minutes, so you’re not going to hate yourself for too long. I don’t know what the state of horror is, or what we’re trying to accomplish, but I hope The Witch doesn’t start a trend of boring indie horror films that are overpraised for no reason. I’m not going to shame the film for daring to be brutally violent in places, but when you spend the majority of the film with kids staring off into trees, you kinda wonder why there isn’t more violence. Why did we choose to stare into trees, instead of killing some colonists?
Final Word: I’m not really a huge fan of the genre anyway, but I can appreciate a good horror film as much as anyone else, or a legitimately scary film. The Witch isn’t scary, aside from jump scares, it’s just boring. It didn’t work for me.
Final Grade: C-