(image credit: A24)

Robert Eggers’ directo­rial debut, “The Witch,” was a surprisingly well made thriller. That’s right, a thriller, not the straightforward horror it’s been advertised as.

Taking place in 1630 New England, “The Witch” follows a family of seven who were exiled from their unspecified settlement. Taking their ban­ishment with dignity, the fa­ther, mother, and five children (one teenager, a younger boy, a small boy and girl, and an in­fant son) build a new home for themselves next to the woods, a few miles away.

Shortly after beginning their farm, their infant child is stolen from the family under the watch of the eldest daughter (Anya Taylor-Joy). From this point on, the mystery of “The Witch” builds and the tension between the family increases. Relationships are strained, and the movie ends with a shocking and disturbing finale.

The strongest point of “The Witch” is the incredible acting. Every single performance in this film was noteworthy, even by the two featured child ac­tors. Taylor-Joy did a wonder­ful job as Thomasin, the father and mother (Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie) were amazing, and Ralph Ineson especially made a great, gravelly voiced man of God. The eldest son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) was phenomenal in his first major role.

Every line delivered is be­lievable. Every facial expression feels real. The performances by every actor are what made “The Witch” as good as it is.

Apart from the acting, the costumes and lighting are per­fect. The immersion of the film is never broken. Natural light­ing and authentic costumes made me feel like I was actu­ally watching a family from the 1600s in early America. The re­ligious aspect, which is a major part of the film, was also han­dled well, giving an accurate representation of the major be­liefs and practices of the time.

Now, in terms of actual horror, “The Witch” falls short. But that’s not its fault. The movie is marketed as a hor­ror movie, when in reality it’s a very well made and disturb­ing thriller. Tension builds throughout the movie, and there are several implied, but not directly shown, grotesque moments.

The writing, lighting, cos­tumes, and acting are all amaz­ing in “The Witch,” but while I say that, I must admit I was let down by the film. I blame it on a coworker of mine hyping it up to be one of the best movies I’ll ever see. I went in expect­ing and wanting it to be perfect. What I got was, at no fault to the movie, a very solid 9/10.

My biggest complaint with the movie is actually right at the very end, but I won’t spoil it. You should definitely see the movie, regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the genre. The quality of the film itself makes it worth seeing. I highly recommend it.


Gabe Carrio
Gabe is a senior at SNHU. He has a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Digital Media and Video Production. Both aid in his passion for both storytelling and filmmaking. An aspiring journalist and filmmaker, Gabe plans to make his final year on the Penmen Press his best, and to make a positive impact on the paper for years to come. When he’s not on campus or working as a cook, Gabe can be found at home planning and brainstorming, or practicing with his band Social Ghost.

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