The Witch Review

I do not review many horror films, not because I do not like the genre but because most of them are not very good. Horror films do not require a big budget, and most audience members will go see it even if it is not very good. Because of this most horror films are lazy and riddled with clichés. However, even though it is not the best film, The Witch is an example of a very well crafted horror film.
I Conjure Thee To Speak To Me
First of all allow with me to make this abundantly clear: This is a very well made film. What really stuck out to me is the cinematography. Every single frame of this film is absolutely gorgeous, while also eerily haunting. I truly hope to see more from the cinematographer in the future. The cinematography brings to life this fantastic world expertly crafted by the films’ cast and crew. The biggest compliment I can give this film is how I felt as if I was in America during the 1630s. The production design, wardrobes, and even dialect all felt perfect. The atmosphere of the film is where I felt most unsettled, but I never felt scared. There are a couple of moments here or there where the film does employ the use of jump scares, but they were largely ineffective. I would not even call this a horror film necessarily. It is largely a supernatural drama with some horror elements interweaved in the narrative. I mentioned earlier how the dialect felt perfect, and that is because the entire cast spoke in the Old English dialect. I have heard some people complain about this decision because it is a bit hard to follow, but I personally found no problems with it. This provided a major challenge for all the actors because they are not used to this dialect, and have to sell it to us audience members. Thankfully most of the cast does an exceptional job, with Anya Taylor-Joy (Thomasin) and Ralph Ineson (William) as the standouts. Both of these actors felt very natural in their roles, and delivered compelling performances.
Wouldst Thou Like To Live Deliciously?
On the other side of the acting coin, I do believe actor Harvey Scrimshaw (Caleb) was a bit underwhelming. He struggled bringing the dialogue to life, but he still did a commendable job. I just think he was the cast member that did not have a strong handle on the old English dialect. He is still a fairly young actor and certainly has a bright future ahead of him. The biggest issue I had with this film is that it dragged on in parts. This is to be expected with horror films because it serves as build-up, but I found it very noticeable in this film. Another problem I had with this film is the ending. I had heard from a couple of people that the ending is not very good, and they are completely right. The ending takes a very supernatural turn that feels very unearned. Perhaps if these supernatural elements were more frequent earlier in the film the ending would be better. However, on the other hand the film is a New England Folktale which lends a bit more credibility to the ending seeing as though it does take a folktale-like supernatural turn.
Closing Remarks
All in all, The Witch is a solid film. Does it have problems? Yes of course it does, but these problems are overshadowed by an impressively crafted film. I would probably not see this film again, but I do recommend you check it out if not for the eerie environment that he films’ cast and crew create.


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