THE WITCH is a historical supernatural horror film written and directed by Robert Eggers.
The story begins with William and his family standing before Puritan church elders. William stubbornly maintains a religious difference with the church and decides to leave the plantation to live in the wilderness. He and his family find fertile land and praise God before building their new home.
Some time later, his wife Katherine gives birth to a son. While Thomasin, their oldest daughter, is watching him, he disappears, the first sign that evil lives in the forest.
What follows is despair, further nightmarish assaults, religious paranoia and accusations, culminating in horrific violence.
THE WITCH is dark, moody, slow. It’s not your typical horror movie. It’s a slow, character-driven burn of a story. The director takes his time, which fits with this being a period piece. He also took great pains to ensure everything in the film is historically as authentic as possible. By the end, we feel the characters’ isolation and paranoia, and see the surrounding thick woods as ominous and threatening.
I enjoyed THE WITCH as a standout film in the horror genre.