Into the Woods (the Witch, 2015)
Opening with a family leaving their community over a difference in how to be devout Christians, this tale set in 1630 is a slow but powerful burn towards a truly horrifying end. The family lives in a remote area, next to a deep and foreboding forest.
This film focuses on how the family, seemingly under demonic influence and attack unravel at the seams. Is oldest daughter Thomasin truly a witch as she suggests to her younger siblings? She later claims to have been joking, but is this just a defense to save herself? Did the witch steal away her brother? Is the devil speaking to her through a goat?
The film takes it’s time in setting up the story and this turns out to be very effective and the Witch builds with a quiet nervousness by everything the family knows is torn down.
The Witch is one of the genre highlights of last year. It is not really a film for gore hounds, but if you appreciate psychological frights, this is a most effective film. Director Robert Eggers shows much promise with his first feature film.