Movie Metaview: The Witch

Posted: March 17, 2016 in Faith, Movies



Living upon the precipice of what constitutes both a natural and supernatural darkness, banished from society for unnamed transgression(s), a surname-less/everyman Puritan family fight hunger and winter in the face of something far more malevolent. Is it truly in the woods, or actually within their midst?


With The Witch herself revealed to the audience early on in despicable revelation, suspicion mounts within the family for why baby Samuel has disappeared. Mum Katherine is incapacitated in grief, oldest child Thomasin holds the household together, while Dad Will ensures son Caleb can recite Scripture about imputed sin, refers to “our natural evil” and places his faith in piety (despite continuing to lie to his wife). In time, each of them are faced with the Witch’s wiles until we are left with a harsh implosion of a family once unbroken.

Through discordant music, claustrophobic 1.66 aspect ratio and lingering gazes from Black Phillip the goat and a foreboding hare, The Witch seeps with dread and uncertainty, paranoia in their wake. This unquantifiable crone makes us take a long, hard look at ourselves; at the notion of sin, at a much-needed plumbline for truth, at the vacuousness of religiosity/piety, at the lies we may tell ourselves…

Intelligent horror leads us to all these kinds of questions and more. And with an ambiguous ending that is at once both shocking and – go on then, I’ll say it – bewitching, The Witch is a woman worth beholding.

  1. […] to scare us it also makes us take a long hard look at our own human condition (see my review here from March). Which only adds to the horror. Brave and essential […]

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