The VVitch (2016)
Director – Robert Eggers
Writers – Robert Eggers
Starring – Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Katie Dickie
Rating – R (Violence, Graphic Nudity)
Genre – Drama, Horror
Metascore – 84/10
Rotten Tomatoes – 88%
I had a near perfect movie experience when I attended a showing of The VVitch at 11:20 a.m. in an empty theater, save for the fact that the soundproofing was rather poor and Zoolander 2 was overwhelming my theater. Aside from that inconvenience, this movie is possibly the best horror movie of the past five years.
The VVitch is not your average horror film; this film was incredibly researched and is as authentic as possible. The dialogue is an area that the director really emphasized in this film. It is set in 1630’s New England and the dialect is absolutely accurate (ex. Why dost thou come against me?). The costume design is also impeccable. The film could easily be classified as a historical piece documenting Witchcraft.
The director Robert Eggers has a real passion for his subject, and it is reflected in his work. He was awarded Best Director at Sundance film festival and only expected to get a very small release. This is his directorial and writing debut and it is impressive how tight and clean this film is; likely due to his history as a set designer.
The score of a film is always interesting, how can you gauge its importance? Well the score for this film is possibly its strongest asset. Most takes in the film are uncomfortably long and linger in places you would rather it not, but even more importantly in those lingering moments is that the score provides unimaginable tension. The fear, like the score, is very present in the film and differs in that it doesn’t hide what you are supposed to be afraid of. These witches are real; you see how they live and how they want to harm you.
You watch a family build their lives, apart from the rest of the world, right at the foot of a terrifyingly eerie forest. The isolation plays into the tension in a major way and allows paranoia to be the real source of fear and familial conflict. It is built on the folklore of witches, like broomstick witches. This folklore has been diluted by multiple films (Bewitched, Hocus Pocus) and most would scoff at any witch on a broomstick. You are so wrong to do that. This film puts you right in the heart of a time where witches were feared like the Devil and for good reason.
Where most movies end open ended, this picture goes all the way to the very end revealing a ton of the mystery of the film. Some say this hindering but when you take note of the purpose of film, which is a literal test of faith vs. a coming of age of story, it fits perfectly. The ending packs such a punch because Eggers had the courage to deliver the reality of this story.
Honestly at this point I have no critiques, other than it may be a bit slow but I didn’t mind. The pacing allowed the tension to fill the air, creating a suffocating element for the audience. Using dread, drama and historical accuracy Eggers created a perfect film.
The499 Rating : 10 / 10
Author : Jesse Ingram