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Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Witch (2016)

In 1630 New England, a man (Ralph Ineson) and his family are banished from his community because of his refusal to conform to their specific religious beliefs. He finds a piece of land at the edge of the forest to build his new home. But when the family infant disappears, it is only the beginning of a descent into horror. I went in to THE WITCH with lowered expectations since the last over hyped horror film THE BABADOOK underwhelmed me considerably. I needn't have worried, this is first rate stuff. As a horror film, you might be disappointed if you're expecting a "Boo!" horror flick with jumps. Its horror lies in its psychological profile of a family being torn apart by the unknown and a challenge to their religious beliefs. For awhile, I thought the film was going to be an indictment at how religious superstition can damage innocent souls but as it slowly progresses, it becomes more and more literal. Finally, the director Robert Eggers gives in and gives us what horror fans want or rather what he thinks we want. Personally, I could have done with less is more. Nevertheless, this is one of the best horror films I've seen in years. The cast is excellent right down the line: besides Ineson, there's Anna Taylor Joy, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson.

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