The Witch is a horror movie from 2015 that follows a family of pilgrims who have angered their community and church and have been banished to live outside near the dark creepy forest. After the disappearance of the family’s infant the family becomes increasingly paranoid and the younger members believes there is a witch in the woods that is causing all of the families problems.
I love horror movies so for me the movie was not all that scary but I think the movie isn’t try to scare in the traditional sense with jump scares and gore. The atmosphere and how creepy the movie is amazing which makes the viewers feel uneasy and paranoid like the characters. The movie has the perfect setting, nobody know what is out in the woods and as a story about the Puritans the fear of the unknown/the devil being in the woods is incredibly accurate to history.
The imagery used in the movie is very similar to reported cases of the witch trials. The movie shows the witch near the beginning but at times like it’s more the family is experiencing real sickness and possibly mental health issues. Through most of the movie interactions between the witch and the family occur when only one member of the family is in the scene so there is no way to tell if what they are seeing is real or not. The witch preys on each member showing them what they want. Very few scenes include other people besides the family so for the audience what is happening can seem like it’s not really there. The end of the movie shows that there are witches in the woods but I feel if it was all real or not is up to interpretation.
As someone who has studied the Salem Witch Trials, I constantly questioned throughout the movie if the witch was real or not though the Witch is clearly shown at the beginning of the movie. One of the theories about the witch trials is that the food was contaminated causing people to have hallucinations and seizures which lead the Church and community to believe that Witches were real. I feel like if you don’t know much about the witch trials the movie would be more scary as you probably would not question the existence of the witch.
Overall, it’s a very atmospheric and creepy movie that is great to watch around Halloween.