The Witch is a horror film set in puritanical New England that plays on the fears of dogma induced paranoia as well as supernatural villainy. The film starts with William and his family being forced out from the safe confines of the local settlement for an unspecified crime that William has committed. The family relocates to a patch of land on the edge of a dark forest on which they decide to build a farm.
This is when everything goes to hell, metaphorically and literally. After constructing their new settlement, the youngest child goes missing while in the care of the oldest, Thomasin. This casts doubts and suspicion on her, which intensify after her horrid twin siblings accuse her of witchcraft after a joke gone awry.
The film continues to intensify in both actual supernatural experiences that the family encounters, as well as religious paranoia. Much of the damage done throughout the film is self-inflicted as accusations between the family members cause the binds that tie them together to strain and snap.
My opinion of the film is mixed. I honestly loved the mood and theme of the piece, as well as Robert Eggers direction. The acting was outstanding from top to bottom. My hesitation comes into play with the last 10 minutes of the film. I do not want to spoil the film though for anyone that wishes to watch it, but some of you will undoubtedly know what I am referring to when it happens.
The cinematography however is gorgeous and the shot design is as suspenseful as the film needs to maintain a palpable feeling of dread.
The Witch opens on February 19th and is rated R.