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Old 02-22-2016   #1
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Topic Nominated The Witch

I'm surprised that a thread hasn't been started for this film yet.

I saw it this weekend and loved it. The horror of the film worked on many levels....the horror of living in isolation in the 17th century, the horrors of being a female growing up in a Puritan household, and the supernatural horrors which were very real for many people at the time.

---Spoilers Ahead---

The film could take away the supernatural elements, and still be terrifying, yet the supernatural elements raise it to new heights, and complicated matters. It's disturbing enough for a family to turn on one of its own, accusing them of witchcraft when they are in fact innocent.

I found the ending fascinating. On one hand it could be argued that by the end Thomasin was finally free. Free from the patriarchy, free from the oppressive Puritan religion, and free from a family that didn't treat her well at all and were planning to basically give her away to another family. She finally rejected an uncaring God who didn't pay heed to any of her prayers, and her look of ecstasy as she floats upward says it all.

On the other hand, she was totally set up. In the end she willfully joins Black Phillip and the witches, but is that something she would have done in the beginning? No. In the beginning she was trying very hard to pray and be a godly person. The Witch stole her baby brother while he was under her care, which led to resentment from her parents.

By the end she was really left with no choice but to sign her name over and join. Her entire family was dead (the twins were missing but I think we can all guess their fate) and if she stayed at the homestead she would starve. If she made the long trek back to town she would most likely be blamed of everything that befell the family and die an accused witch. Her God wasn't answering her and she had no other recourse but to go with Black Phillip. So while she is happy and free at the end, it's far from a happy ending for Thomasin, as soon she will be stealing babes herself.

I love the way the movie blended all of these elements, and culminated in such a perfect ending.

Justin Steele

The Arkham Digest
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Old 02-22-2016   #2
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Re: The Witch

I am looking forward to seeing this, although I do admit that the last time people were raving about a new horror film being a modern classic (It Follows) I was left a trifle disappointed.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
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Old 02-22-2016   #3
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Re: The Witch

Quote Originally Posted by James Sucellus View Post
I am looking forward to seeing this, although I do admit that the last time people were raving about a new horror film being a modern classic (It Follows) I was left a trifle disappointed.
I loved It Follows but was disappointed by the other two that got raves, namely The Babadook and A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.
The trailer for The Witch looks good but the UK release is not till 11th March I think.
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Old 02-22-2016   #4
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Re: The Witch

I thought It Follows was good but not great. Some parts made me roll my eyes pretty hard.

I don't really like seeing films in the cinema any more, so I'll be waiting for the home release on this one. I don't trust the public to be quiet.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
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Old 02-22-2016   #5
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Re: The Witch

You say "eating babies" like it was a bad thing...

I am looking forward to watching this when it comes out on DVDs as my theatre days are probably done.

Crowds. Now there's the real horror.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 03-26-2016   #6
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Re: The Witch

I too was wary about the hype after a few disappointments but this was brilliant. All the performances were great, so many standout moments. Instant favourite. Looking forward to more from this director.

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Old 03-26-2016   #7
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Re: The Witch

This film affected me more than The Exorcist ever did.
In my opinion the best horror film since Antichrist.

*minor spoilers*

There's been some criticism of the film's "mixed messages", namely whether or not the family's religious hysteria was justified on account that the witch was incontrovertibly real. The secularist in my was admittedly troubled by this at first; but, if the viewer considers the film in the context of its subtitle--A New England Folk Tale--then the reaction from the family would be rendered just as natural as a fairy tale character's nonchalance to a talking animal or a magical object. The film is a period piece above all else, and Puritan hysteria was of course every bit a part of the period as the religious persecution and the wilderness farmstead also present in the film.

Anxious to see Eggers' Nosferatu remake already
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Old 03-26-2016   #8
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Re: The Witch

It's a rare film that I can barely raise a quibble about it. So glad I didn't wait longer to see this.

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Old 03-26-2016   #9
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Re: The Witch

This movie was awesome. Best thing about it was the very last scene where it says (to paraphrase) "This was based off of court records, diaries, and historical documents." Which supports my point that history (for sure people's perception of what they thought was going on at that time period) was WAY more metal than anyone gives it credit for.

I loved this movie. Works on so many levels.

As an aside, I watched it last weekend and because of the region of the country I live in (and because the movie had been out awhile) I was literally the only person in the theatre. Made it SO MUCH more awesome. One of my best movie experiences ever.
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Old 03-28-2016   #10
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Re: The Witch

Quote Originally Posted by James Sucellus View Post
I thought It Follows was good but not great. Some parts made me roll my eyes pretty hard.
Just from glancing through the Wiki summary of It Follows I think it would be more subtle if the monster(s) was a hockey mask wearing clown with claws for hands.

Quote Originally Posted by Nirvana In Karma View Post
There's been some criticism of the film's "mixed messages", namely whether or not the family's religious hysteria was justified on account that the witch was incontrovertibly real. The secularist in my was admittedly troubled by this at first; but, if the viewer considers the film in the context of its subtitle--A New England Folk Tale--then the reaction from the family would be rendered just as natural as a fairy tale character's nonchalance to a talking animal or a magical object. The film is a period piece above all else, and Puritan hysteria was of course every bit a part of the period as the religious persecution and the wilderness farmstead also present in the film.
What do you mean by this? From my admittedly limited experience hysteria is rarely rationally justified or helpful whether one is faced with persons stealing babies, supernatural entities stealing babies, non-supernatural entities stealing babies, and generic fear of random variables stealing babies.

Quote Originally Posted by Robin Davies View Post
I loved It Follows but was disappointed by the other two that got raves, namely The Babadook and A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.

The trailer for The Witch looks good but the UK release is not till 11th March I think.
Never heard of A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. I found the final scenes of The Babadook (the fate of the monster) strangely effective though the general ‘psychological’ horror aspect of the film was rather trite.

Fear not though now everyone here has seen the film we are free to envisage some form of ultimate synthesis of the three. I’d imagine the premise would be something akin to this

Every time Mary-Sue Lovecraft sleeps with her boyfriend, Token Black, she experiences terrifying visions in which she's touched inappropriately by the ghost of Robert Aickman. Is she losing her mind or do these sinister happenings have something to do with an incident from her repressive childhood where she was forced to watch her fanatical Catholic father disembowel her mother after catching her in a lesbian tryst?
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