One of the most popular genres for debut film makers to dip their toes into is the Horror genre. That means that every year there are hundreds of new horror films being released on to DVD, BR, streaming and at the movies. Most often they are cheap knock offs of familiar sub-genres, werewolves, vampires and zombies as well as found footage movies that cross genres.
They are mostly easily watched and easily forgotten.
That is not the case with writer/director Robert Eggers’ debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. And after watching this you can see why.
Set in New England in 1630 the story opens on a family being banished into the wilderness, they take up on the edge of a very spooky forest.
Strange and unsettling things begin to happen almost immediately — animals turn malevolent, crops fail, and one child disappears as another becomes seemingly possessed by an evil spirit.
It is not a spoiler to say that the witch of the title is real and black magic does indeed exist. The image of an old witch flying on a broomstick is eerie, haunting and shocking.
The story is told through the eyes of the adolescent daughter as she uncovers what is happening to the rest of her family.
The film is beautifully directed with lingering looks at the entire landscape through the use of close ups and wide shots. The music tells the story on another level entirely.
This film is highly recommended – watch with a friend!