The Witch is one of the most genuinely unnerving horror films in recent memory because Eggers has the guts to earn your fear.
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Eggers manages to create a sense of mood and dread that is so suffocating at times that it feels like we're watching something genuinely transgressive, something we should not be seeing.
The Witch becomes a focused portrait of fixed rituals crumbling in the face of inexplicable forces, evoking the fear of change lurking in the shadows at every moment. Despite the setting, its scares are uniquely contemporary.
This movie may be too slow and verbose to be the next breakout horror hit, but its focus on themes over plot is what elevates it to something near greatness.
Eggers, whose production and costume design background is on full display in the austerely crafted setting, effectively builds the tension of this divine battle, one which isn’t scary, but surely memorable.
Writer-director Robert Eggers’ impressive debut feature walks a tricky line between disquieting ambiguity and full-bore supernatural horror, but leaves no doubt about the dangerously oppressive hold that Christianity exerted on some dark corners of the Puritan psyche.
A deeply impressive first film by director Robert Eggers, “The Witch” is immaculately constructed, evinces an exquisitely ominous tone, and is unequivocally haunting. It’s exacting look at the dissonance of human nature is terrifying.
Although Eggers is discreet – the things you don’t see are more horrifying than those you do – the picture’s relentlessness sometimes feels like torment. But if you can survive it, The Witch is a triumph of tone.
The Witch’s greatest asset is its precisely controlled menace, and so even when nothing terrifying is happening, it feels like something ominous could be unleashed at any moment.
Writer-director Robert Eggers' debut feature impresses on several fronts, notably in the performances, historical feel and visual precision, but the overall effect is relatively subdued and muted, probably too much so for mainstream scare fans.