The Witch Review:
The Witch ratting
My Rating System
Horror movies in the year 2016 have hit a point where nothing is really that fresh anymore. It's rare for a horror movie to come along that surprises everyone with new/unique aspects, which keep movie goers glued to the scene while also providing creepy and eventful imagery. 2015 lacked in great horror films. There were a few but nothing special like 2014's Babadook. Horror films tend to go the lazy route these days, and simply throw mindless horror cliches that are predictable. The Witch falls under this predictability factor, but creates an unique experience for horror fans alike. However, unique doesn't always equal success and the Witch didn't follow the idea that "sometimes less is more".
The Witch is a horror movie set in 1630 New England and is about a family of five that have been banished from a town they were living in. They make their way near a river and creek, and start a new life for the family. All hell breaks loose when something kidnaps the baby of the family and disappears into the forest. The family is now on edge, suspecting everyone in their family of being the witch that took their son. This is especially true with Thomasin, the sixteen-year-old girl daughter of the family. She's always in the wrong place at the wrong time and is now facing persecution from her own family. The family struggle is tearing the family apart, and is playing into the Witch's hands.
The movie does a great job at creating an original story, with original ideas, and a plot that never seems to invent unique ideas. It's truly heartbreaking that the director (Robert Eggers) wanted to create a convoluted plot with creepy/shocking imagery, instead of crafting a story driven movie. Scenes of creepy imagery aren't necessary scary, they're just shocking. The shock wears off fast, as it jumps back and forth between creepy and grounded. This creates a jumbled plot and sometimes a incoherent one. Pulling the audiences away from the movie with no payoff at all.
A good majority of the 1 and a half long movie is focused on the inner struggles of the family that's going through the experience. This creates a short of very slow buildup that seems to never end. Waiting for something to finally happen, or even a direction the movie is going towards, stresses the patience level. Luckily they do come back to focusing on the family dynamic. Each member of the family doesn't know who to trust and who to believe. This thought-provoking glory, grounds the movie from the craziness that's been unfolding. However, they jump between this imagery at such a fast pace, that audiences will become tired of it while wanting to know what the true purpose of these scenes. The serious tones of the movie, become laughable with over the top creepy imagery. It was if the director created these short of skits before he and then started to connect a coherent story line into a linear plot.
The Witch suffers from too much inconsistencies in the plot and the story. It doesn't know what it wants to be, so it tries to be everything. This approach feels like a roller coaster that's consistently jerking around, with no clear objective. The plot also has some inconsistencies with the origin of the witches. Where did they come from? Why doesn't people know about this forest? Movies can have thought-provoking questions that aren't necessary answered at the end of the movie. However, the plot has to give up enough information for the audience to forum their own conclusions. A more grounded backstory would have made those creepy and visually stunning scenes, transform into chilling scenes as well.
Overall, the Witch has some great qualities like imagery, acting, visuals, soundtrack, and some great plot points. However, there's a structurally concrete plot to warrant any thrills or scares, creating a predictable and stuffed film, that doesn't seem to become grounded in it's craft. This results in a incoherent plot points with creepy things to stay glue to. The Witch isn't a terrible film and will warrant some fans. Though the average movie goer will be turned off from the movie, and be sad at the missed opportunity from first time Director Robert Eggers. 5.5/10