‘The Witch’ (2015) Review by Frank Heimsath

“real horror is not about jump scares, that can be fun for a moment, but I’m more interested at looking at what is dark in humanity and what is actually horrific. Which is not what we necessarily think of the genre these days.”

Depth of Field

Robert Eggers’ The
Witch
(2015) is a modern gothic horror masterpiece. The film is a
suspenseful and claustrophobic supernatural horror that relies on an unsettling
atmosphere over the cheap scares and gore tactics that the genre has now become
associated with. Eggers, as writer and director, creates an authentic image of
an archetypal 17th century puritan family in new England, tested by
the paranoia and hysteria brought about by religious fundamentalism in the face
of dark and difficult circumstance. Horror
is offered not only through the fear of the supernatural but also of
accusation culture and distrust in the family home.

Although having a run time of only 93 minutes the film has a measured slow-burning pace, building up tension and suspense, while not leaving all the action for the third act. In an interview for the Guardian Egger’s stated that:

“real horror is not about jump
scares, that…

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