I’ve been dying to see Robert Eggers’ directorial debut The Witch since first hearing murmurs of the “New England Folktale” as it debuted at festivals. And as it drew closer to wide release the nonstop chatter surrounding the film saw my excitement build, as I wondered if it could be this year’s It Follows.
And after finally seeing it on Friday, I can say that it is… and it isn’t. See, it isn’t like normal horror films as it comes to the scares. The Witch is very atmospheric and slowly builds, feeling almost suffocating with its Puritan values, desperate confusion, and the crushing guilt thrown at its characters.
The story follows Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), the teenaged daughter of a family banned from their Puritan community after their father’s “proud” acts, leaving them isolated as they set up a new home in front of unfamiliar woods.