The Witch (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Witch2016

The Witch (2016)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is visually compelling, The Witch delivers a deeply unsettling exercise in slow-building horror that suggests great things for debuting writer-director Robert Eggers.

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Movie Info

In this exquisitely made and terrifying new horror film, the age-old concepts of witchcraft, black magic and possession are innovatively brought together to tell the intimate and riveting story of one family's frightful unraveling in the New England wilderness circa 1630. New England, 1630. Upon threat of banishment by the church, an English farmer leaves his colonial plantation, relocating his wife and five children to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest - within which lurks an unknown evil. Strange and unsettling things begin to happen almost immediately - animals turn malevolent, crops fail, and one child disappears as another becomes seemingly possessed by an evil spirit. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, family members accuse teenage daughter Thomasin of witchcraft, charges she adamantly denies. As circumstances grow more treacherous, each family member's faith, loyalty and love become tested in shocking and unforgettable ways. Writer/director Robert Eggers' debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival - winning the Best Director Prize in the U.S. Narrative Competition - painstakingly recreates a God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which religious convictions tragically turned to mass hysteria. Told through the eyes of the adolescent Thomasin - in a star-making turn by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy - and supported by mesmerizing camera work and a powerful musical score, THE WITCH is a chilling and groundbreaking new take on the genre.

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Cast

Ralph Ineson
as William
Kate Dickie
as Katherine
Sarah Stephens
as Young Witch
Wahab Chaudhry
as Black Phillip
Brooklyn Herd
as Noble Girl
Derek Herd
as Peasant Man 1
Viv Moore
as Lead Coven Dancing Witch
Madlen Sopadzhiyan
as Coven Witch
Ron G. Young
as White Trapper
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Critic Reviews for The Witch

All Critics (332) | Top Critics (73)

Like any good horror film, The Witch is rife with opportunity for allegorical interpretation, and one of the most compelling narratives bubbling beneath surface is the origin story of America itself.

February 10, 2021 | Full Review…

The stakes are real. The Devil is real. All roads do not lead up the mountain. Some lead to the heart of darkness, to the depths of a witch-haunted wood.

April 28, 2017 | Rating: A | Full Review…

The film starts with wordy wittering and ends by trying to woo our shrieks -- from Arthur Miller to Dennis Wheatley in the shortest time possible between two blunt points.

December 27, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

I'm fairly positive scares are not the point. Eggers takes things to a place that's far more disconcerting, showing how human nature can be the most destructive of all forces.

August 15, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

As horror films go, the film is more slow burn than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but it builds steadily to its dreadful and earned conclusion.

June 10, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

A film that surrounds you with a general yet mostly indescribable sense of unease, less through its violence or blood than its mood and tension. And then it clobbers you.

April 27, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Witch

Neo-horror film based on New England folk tales as well as the fear of the wood and the supernatural. Well acted and filmed, the movie does not follow regular "scary movie" blue prints. That's a blessing for its unpredictability and a curse for its slow pace. There are some deeply unsettling and creepy scenes, but very few classical scares. The religious zealousness of regular 17th century folks is almost as uncomfortable to watch as the witch in the woods. The ending actually dares to go bat shit crazy, you gotta admire that.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

½

Despite a bit of a slow pace, the Witch's tense sequences are enough for a decent folktale. The disturbing score, the daunting scenes and thought-provoking lore will make any moviegoer feel unsettled and paranoid. 3.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

The very definition of terror in the purest sense of the word - a disturbing and nerve-wracking slow burn whose profoundly anguishing atmosphere made my skin crawl and left me almost squeaking in panic, and I don't think I will ever want to see this horrific nightmare again.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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