FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Nov 3, 2019

BLOODvember Day 3: The Witch (2015)

First of all, I would like to point out the obvious (nothing but trenchant insights here at Final Girl!), which is that in January The Witch turns five. Five! Already! We are all rocketing toward the grave!

Anyway. What I love most about this New England folktale is its overwhelming atmosphere of dread. As William and his family pray and give thanks and ask God for blessings over their new plot of land, we see the long, foreboding shot of the woods, the home of the witches, and the leaves rustle in what we hope is just the can feel the evil watching, waiting, biding its time. We know that in the world of the film, the horrible tales are true. The witch is real, she is nearby, and she will bring about death and ruin. (For some. For others, she brings salvation.)

The entire movie is the very definition of a slow burn. It's a mood that keeps racheting up the tension until we're fit to burst. When the "horror moments" come, they are punctuation marks, made that much more startling by the unease that's been building since the start.

This is one of those moments:

Katherine, driven mad with grief and worry and hunger, imagines she cradles and nurses her lost babe Samuel. When the camera pulls back and we see it's actually a crow ripping and tearing at her breast...I said OH MY GOD out loud in the theatre without intending to. It's the most shocked I can recall being for the past, well, maybe ever. Completely unexpected, completely horrifying, completely insane. This movie rules hard.


Death Process said...

I get chills When Caleb goes we would see you oft, mother.

I'm obsessed with this one, it's a beauty.

RayB said...

This film was a bit of a shocker. I was expecting all the horror to be psychological, the results of 17th Century religious fanatics driven nuts by the struggle for survival, strict social conventions, and their own fearful imagination. But,wait! You mean floating "sky clad" witches and goat demons are for real?!