Or is it the VVitch?
As I was doing the background research for this movie (as I usually do after I watch a movie but before I write the review), I noticed that The Witch is actually from 2015 which means that this movie isn’t qualified to be in my top 10 best or top 10 worst movies of 2016. That doesn’t matter though because even if it was qualified, it would have made neither.
One thing that I can say about this movie is that the previews for it are right: this is probably one of the most disturbing movies I’ve seen in a while. The film doesn’t constantly clock you over the head with disturbing images, but when the scenes do happen, I was fairly uncomfortable.
I have to give this movie credit for the production too. The performances in this movie are all good or great, and the tone of the movie is extremely consistent thanks to the dark imagery and soundtrack (even if they overplayed the soundtrack a little bit in my opinion).
And that’s about it. It is a horror movie that is quite scary and disturbing, it has good acting, and a consistent tone. Aside from that, I can’t find any other reasons to recommend this movie.
The Witch starts out with a strict Christian family that is banished from their town and are forced to settle on the outskirts of a forest. When the newborn baby in the family disappears, things start going from bad to worse. The entire experience is you watching this family fall apart as insane and horrible things start happening around them.
The movie does a good job, at first, with establishing characters with struggles and adversities, but never really fulfills any of the character arcs they created in the first place (and the only reason I can think of for them not doing so is because horror movie).
Not to mention that the more you discover about what’s really going on to this family, the less it makes sense. Again, at first these terrible things seem horrifying and sad, and then it falls apart because the film starts becoming slightly illogical. Once the movie gave me all the answers they intended to give me, I wasn’t satisfied.
And if there’s no satisfaction to be had with the characters or story that I’m watching, then why am I seeing all of this disturbing imagery? It’s like watching the movie Hostile, but instead of going to see a bunch of people get tortured with no other real substance, you’re seeing this family fall apart with no other real substance.
This movie is the exact inverse of most bland movies I watch:
Most of the time, a bland movie has a good story with fully realized goals and purposes, but has poor execution with all other elements (acting, cinematography, tone, etc.)
The Witch, on the other hand, has great acting, cinematography, and tone, but there’s no real purpose as to why this is even a movie at all.
This is probably going to be a great movie for those who love the horror genre. However, in regards to any other audience, I don’t see any reason to check this movie out. I have no problem with a movie bothering me emotionally provided that there is some purpose or reason for it, but The Witch provides no reason for showing you disturbing content other than for the sake of being disturbing, and I’m giving this movie a 6 out of 10.