Sunday, July 31, 2016

Be Very Afraid

I finally saw The Witch last night.  If you like your horror intelligent, off-putting, and highly ambiguous then grab your broomstick and fly to the nearest Netflix.  (Huh?)

It wears its low budget proudly on its sleeve.  It uses very simply physical effects with just the right smidgen of CGI and natural lighting to recreate the feel and tone of the New England frontier of the 17th century.  There is capital-C Civilization and there is The Wilderness, and it's clear from an opening shot which side you should want to be on.

And there's plenty to love for early American Literature nerds as well.  The script borrows heavily and directly from the letters, journals, and court documents of the Puritans.  The most significant scene in the film has a young boy directly quoting John Winthrop in a very clever nod to underlying tensions of Puritan theology (god must love me because he obviously hates me!).

It's really good.  It's arguably one of the most Feminist horror movies ever.  And you'll want to sleep with the lights on when it's done.

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