I am not really a fan of horror films, because most of them are aimed to gross us out instead of scare us (how movies like The Human Centipede get made is beyond me, thankfully I won’t see them).
Then comes along a film like The VVitch, a film that should not be as good as it really is when you think about it (the title is too simple, despite the fact that it reminds us that two “V”s look like one “W”.) Still, while I have not seen every film of the new year, this one has made its way towards the top of my list so far.
The movie is set in New England during the 1630s. We meet a family lead by the husband William (Raoph Ineson). He is a hard working, God fearing man, who has just been thrown out of the local villiage. He takes his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie), daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) twins Mercy and Jonas (Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson, respecfully), and baby Samuel to start anew.
Of course, bad things start to happen, and I won’t ruin them for you. I will say that the director, Robert Eggers, has made a fantastic debut film. You will find it hard going back and forth between what you admire more: the simple story, the stellar cinematography by Jarin Blaschke, the music by Mark Korven which is almost unwordly (it reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey), or the acting. Anya Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw are names you will want to put in your memory banks, because they have bright futures ahead.
Parents, it is safe to say this film deserves its R rating. It is not just because of the violence (which is there, but not gallons and gallons of it), but there is also some nudity (especially at the beginning and the end). Follow the rating this time: Only 17 and above.
Like The Babadook, The VVitch is a film that reminds us horror films are able to be watchable and entertaining when done right. The bad ones are ones we are lucky if we can forget them. The good ones are the ones we are lucky if we remember them, though we don’t want to at times.
Overall: Four Stars ****