Movie review: “The Witch” (2016)


“I cannot write my name.”

“I will guide thy hand.”

It’s a rare occurrence anymore that viewing a new film makes such a subconscious impression upon me that I carry it forward into my dreams. I didn’t have a bad night per se, a mere handful of hours removed from viewing writer-director Robert Eggers’ grim and engrossing period piece The Witch, but I will say it was emotionally fraught. Nor did I dream outright of witches, the existence of which, with their wanton, many would say dangerous perversion and sublimation of the established word and will of God, was an accepted if not central tenet of the Puritan faith, and for a simple reason. Traditionally, I have never found witches particularly scary, though I’m sure your mileage will vary. Though accomplished and involving in its own right, Eggers’ film subtly gains or loses potency depending, in part, on the personal baggage – faith, fears, family – his viewer brings to it, but operates at such a level of sustained tension, even during those great stretches when nothing much appears to be happening, that I’m certain I wasn’t the only one so affected. Continue reading “Movie review: “The Witch” (2016)”