The Witch

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  • The Witch

    Just caught up with this on home video.

    Not only a truly excellent horror movie with some deeply disturbing, almost Lovecraftian sequences, it's also just about the only American-made movie that managed to capture a real sense of what the seventeenth century looked and sounded and felt like.

    The landscape, the deep sense of isolation, the ever-looming specter of starvation and loneliness and fear before a cruel and arbitrary God permeate every frame of this amazing film.

    Beautifully shot, great performances by actors unknown, at least, to me.

    This was the writer-director, (Robert Eggers', first feature.

    NMS

  • #2
    Re: The Witch

    Originally posted by nmstevens View Post
    Just caught up with this on home video.

    Not only a truly excellent horror movie with some deeply disturbing, almost Lovecraftian sequences, it's also just about the only American-made movie that managed to capture a real sense of what the seventeenth century looked and sounded and felt like.

    The landscape, the deep sense of isolation, the ever-looming specter of starvation and loneliness and fear before a cruel and arbitrary God permeate every frame of this amazing film.

    Beautifully shot, great performances by actors unknown, at least, to me.

    This was the writer-director, (Robert Eggers', first feature.

    NMS
    Yeah I really dug it. Takes a while to get into it, especially with the language, but once its got its hooks in you it's really tense and wonderfully acted. Also very cool to see a "classic" interpretation of what a witch looks like.
    Write, rite, wright... until you get it RIGHT.

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    • #3
      Re: The Witch

      The VVitch has almost everything you want in a great movie. The cinematography, the acting, the dialogue, the costumes, the production design, the aesthetic, the tone- all top notch.

      The only thing missing-- was a plot. And unfortunately, as a writer, all I really care about is the plot. I'd rather watch 2 actors on a stage with a cardboard box, if they had a story to tell.

      Aside from that, only one other complaint: there was a scene in the first act, involving a giant mortar and pestle, that was so profoundly disturbing to me that literally everything that happened afterwards, including the appearance of Satan himself, was an anticlimax. That early scene (which was obviously great) should have been saved, I think.

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      • #4
        Re: The Witch

        Big fan of that film. Can't say enough about it. Always surprised when genre fans dislike it.

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        • #5
          Re: The Witch

          Thought the trailer looked amazing but the film itself was dull. Quite strange to see a film set in America with Yorkshire accents.

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          • #6
            Re: The Witch

            Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
            Thought the trailer looked amazing but the film itself was dull. Quite strange to see a film set in America with Yorkshire accents.
            Not at all. After all, the British came to New England and settled there in the 17th century.

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            • #7
              Re: The Witch

              Originally posted by Jake Schuster View Post
              Not at all. After all, the British came to New England and settled there in the 17th century.
              Oh aye, hence the name New England and all those other places New York, New Hampshire, Manchester, Boston, Birmingham etc. I'm just saying it's unusual to see American citizens with English accents. Very trippy.

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              • #8
                Re: The Witch

                Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
                Oh aye, hence the name New England and all those other places New York, New Hampshire, Manchester, Boston, Birmingham etc. I'm just saying it's unusual to see American citizens with English accents. Very trippy.
                Ah, but they weren't citizens yet! (There was probably no official designation as such.) Lots of towns in New England have British antecedents. I live in an area north of Boston where our house, built in 1815, isn't the oldest. There are some here that date to the 1600s. When we lived in England we'd notice how nearly all the names of the towns there (and the cities) were adopted in the New World.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Witch

                  There are some regions in, I think, the coastal Carolina's that are supposed to have an almost pure Elizabethan accent.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Witch

                    I think that was what made this film stand out among the sea of horror films, and what eventually got it made (a good lesson in screenwriting/filmmaking in general - make your stuff stand out). If I recall, they mentioned somewhere that the dialogue was actually taken from writings during the time.

                    Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
                    Oh aye, hence the name New England and all those other places New York, New Hampshire, Manchester, Boston, Birmingham etc. I'm just saying it's unusual to see American citizens with English accents. Very trippy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Witch

                      Originally posted by nguyensquared View Post
                      I think that was what made this film stand out among the sea of horror films, and what eventually got it made (a good lesson in screenwriting/filmmaking in general - make your stuff stand out). If I recall, they mentioned somewhere that the dialogue was actually taken from writings during the time.
                      And I read that the buildings in the film were constructed using very old timber and built by craftspeople who'd studied how the original structures were built.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Witch

                        I'm gonna give this film another go. I hope I don't regret it.

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                        • #13
                          Re: The Witch

                          It's certainly worth considering another watch, in my opinion. I read the script and it's quite good. I think it also got nominated for Best Screenplay next to The Lobster (Spirit Awards?).

                          It's one of those films where the hook of the unusual dialogue and strive for authenticity stands out enough for you to somewhat forgive its other short-comings, give or take. This is where horror audiences may be divided (gore/slasher vs. supernatural/drama).

                          Oddly enough, I actually employed this dialogue style in a horror script I was writing about the Black Plague in 14th England independent of this film, to be used as a selling point (well that, and a giant bird monster). But looks like I got beat to it

                          Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
                          I'm gonna give this film another go. I hope I don't regret it.

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