Remember my doubt and suspicion that “The VVitch” would not be a good fit for this course? Me too, and I take it all back.
Now, what is interesting is that my first impression of the film was “huh, interesting but not fantastic.” There are definitely things about the film that I think could be better, especially the score, which is a little too over the top for me. I prefer when a film’s music is noticeable, but almost subconsciously adds to the film rather that clearly being projected.
However most of my other criticisms died within the first fifteen minutes after watching the film as my roommate and I discussed it and watched some of the director’s commentary. We eventually came to this conclusion: is the film fantastic as far as a modern horror movie goes – no; is the film an excellent portrayal of New England witches and the type of nightmarish events that Puritan’s feared – yes!
That is not to say that this movie does not belong in the horror genre; there are a few disturbing and bloody scenes. However, the real pull of this movie is the sheer amount of historical re-creation and will power that Robert Eggers put into his “Puritan nightmare”. This is a movie designed to accurately showcase Puritan values and the traditional archetype of a witch, and for that, it belongs in this course.
A full write-up of this movie will be coming soon along with one for Conjure Wife. In short however, I think this movie will facilitate some wonderful discussion within the class.