ikkegoemikke's Movie Review of The Witch (2016)

Rating of

The Witch (2016)

Horror? No way.
ikkegoemikke - wrote on 09/02/16

"I am that very witch. When I sleep my spirit slips away from...my body and dances naked with The Devil. "

Wow, this was the biggest disappointment of the year. After reading some laudable messages and the rather misleading recommendations on certain websites, I thought I was ready for again another original horror that, unlike most in this genre, doesn't have an overused subject. In retrospect I really wondered where the horror started in this story. Yes, the language used in that time terrified me. That's for sure. I understood absolutely nothing and I was glad that subtitles were provided. Is it the religious devotion in those days that scares you? I would call it religious insanity. As soon as something happens, those arms go up to the sky and that all-encompassing divinity is called on for help. Or is there really something pernicious in that dark forest, causing this poor farming family to be overwhelmed by adversities?

What if they'd called "The VVitch" a historic drama? Probably my opinion would be slightly milder (and probably I wouldn't have watched it anyway). But calling this horror, is a gross deception for many. In my view this movie shows the misconceptions and misinterpretations that were commonplace at that time. A bad harvest, another setback or an unexplained illness caused those simple and unknowing souls to wail and pray to the almighty. An era in which superstition and fear of the unknown thrived. Is that what this simple peasant family made insane? Such madness, that even the black goat in the family was regarded as the source of all evil? For me it's just a historical, psychological drama. It's as simple as that.

As mentioned earlier, the entire film is drenched in Old English. I can imagine that historians and linguists go all lyrical about it and get overexcited about it (I can see them sitting there already all slobbery). I tried to understand a tiny bit of it. As a result it required my complete attention mostly. I can believe that the mise en scene of the whole, looked accurate and authentic. The house-holding, the way they dress and the way of living were shown brilliantly and very well cared for. Likewise, the acting and dramatics. Especially the young actors were excellent and gave it a unique character. I can imagine that finding such good, young actors, isn't easy. Their hard work, while seeking a perfect cast, paid of.

Nope guys. This is far from being a horror. Or hearing yet another prayer gives you the chills. I like subtle films in the horror genre. It isn't necessary for me that it's all bloody and gory. But I'm afraid I've missed the subtlety of "The VVitch" somehow. The marketing department of the publisher probably realized suddenly that the label horror sounds sexier and more commercial than the ordinary label drama. Let alone they would even mention it's a historical costume film. Not that this is an insignificant genre, but the target audience is more limited in my opinion. In terms of atmosphere and film technology it's unparalleled. But I'm just allergic to deception on a large scale. A bit like religion itself, isn't it? Lets pray for that for once ...

PS. I've seen the trailer afterwards. Now I understand why film-goers thought this would be horror.

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