Tag Archives: Drama

Review: Krisha

Director(s)Trey Edward Shults
Principal CastKrisha Fairchild as Krisha
Robyn Fairchild as Robyn
Bill Wise as Doyle
Trey Edward Shults as Trey
Release Date2015
Language(s)English
Running Time 81 minutes

Having already seen It Comes at Night, I expected Shults’s directorial debut, Krisha, to be ambiguous and unsettling. Though the story managed to get under my skin to an even greater degree than his sophomore feature, it’s much more straight-forward and clear. This is the story of Krisha, a women who returns to the family she abandoned in an attempt to patch things up during Thanksgiving. It doesn’t follow your typical story structure. There’s not one or two dramatic encounters into levity into redemption. This story is real, painful, and manages to explore the damage troubled family members can have on the whole unit in a truly visceral way that isn’t afraid to hold anything back.

The story starts off as Krisha parks her car and attempts to locate her estranged family’s household. We’re immediately given a view into her state of mind and it sets the tone for the disorienting events to come. She talks to herself, talks to inanimate objects, get irritated at inconveniences, and demonstrates a familiar but distant intimacy with her estranged family who all greet her with varied degrees of enthusiasm. From the loving embrace of her sister Robyn to the strange aloofness one of the youngsters, Trey, the movie makes it obvious that there’s a lot of history between Krisha and her kin and that she’s been gone for a long time. You know there’s something wrong there.

I love the way the movie is cut, scored, and presented. It’s a visually unique experience that makes the “estranged family member returns story” far more interesting. Events are inter cut and presented to keep a constant sense of action and uneasiness at play. Every time you feel safer in one scenario, the tension in another inter cut scene starts to ratchet up. There are lots of tracking shots and arc shots that are used to prolong this sense of uneasiness and create disorientation. In particular, one kitchen scene involving an arc shot got me feeling panicked and frantic as it constantly accelerated in speed. The music compliments what’s happening on the screen by accentuating the progression of Krisha’s journey. Early on we’re bombarded by discordant noises that make it impossible to focus yourself. It’s almost like Krisha can’t handle the intensity of coming back to her family and we’re right there with her. Later on music plays, the lyrics serving as a poetic backdrop to Krisha’s journey and transformation up till that point. Sound always has a purpose. All together the audio-visual elements breathe new life into the genre by taking commonplace Thanksgiving activities and functions far more tense than they need to be . It’s an an assault on the senses that never gives you a moment to settle in.

What sells the movie is just how real it all feels. Every performance is on point, but Krisha absolutely steals the show. From the way she looks to the way she carries herself, you can tell that she’s gone through a lot. Her panic translates in her frantic movements and uneasy quiet. The family interactions accurately convey the damage abusive family relationships can have. Members are constantly shown apart from Krisha, having moved forward in spite of her absence. Family interactions with Krisha are varied. Some are kind and open like Robyn, while others are more suspicious like Doyle, Krisha’s brother-in-law. It all comes together to paint a picture of the places families are willing to go to help those who fall of the beaten path. Simultaneously it doesn’t try and sugarcoat the trauma that comes from the abuse at play. The nuance hit me in how familiar it reminded me of my own experiences.

I only wish the movie was a bit longer, because I was interested in some of the hinted family drama that never gets revealed. I thought fleshing out certain character relations a bit more would make later conversations more relevant, but I never felt like I had a lack of information, so this might be more of a nitpick.

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TLDRKrisha follows its titular namesake as she tries to re-integrate with her estranged family during Thanksgiving. However Shults has no intention of making this your typical rehabilitation story filled with positivity and Hallmark cliches. From the shot composition to the score, the movie injects every scene with palpable tension as we watch with baited breath, hoping Krisha can right the ship. This is a nerve-wracking and emotionally painful trip, but is definitely one worth taking.
Rating9.7/10
Grade A+

Go to Page 2 for my spoiler-full thoughts!

Review: The Neon Demon

Director(s)Nicolas Winding Refn
Principal CastElle Fanning as Jesse
Jena Malone as Ruby
Bella Heathcote as Gigi
Abbey Lee as Sarrah
Karl Glusman as Dean
Keanu Reeves as Hank
Release Date 2016
Language(s)English
Running Time117 minutes

The Neon Demon follows Jesse, an aspiring young model looking to make it big in Los Angeles. Armed with only her beauty and charm, the budding star finds herself caught up in the machinations of an industry that simultaneously craves and detests the beauty she possesses. The movie deftly tackles exploitation, sexuality, beauty, and innocence in a way that brings lights the very real issues plaguing the fashion industry while offering a deep dive into the way humanity approaches beauty and aesthetic.

Jesse, on top of being the protagonist, is a stand in for beauty in a more metaphysical sense. Characters constantly talk about her attractive qualities, positioning themselves in relation to her on a spectrum ranging from deification to envy and hatred. It gives every interaction subtext about the way we perceive and interact with beauty, both in destructive and productive capacities. Some of us view beauty as invaluable as physical health, and as such, practices like plastic surgery are necessary to a “good” life. For others, beauty is vain and we should seek to move away from it. It’s all a question of what we think of ourselves. On top of that, we have to balance those ideas with how we think others view them as well. Each of these threads are explored in detail and in relation with one another culminating in a truly unique horror movie about the aspects of our relationship with beauty.

Speaking of beauty, the movie is mesmerizing to listen and watch. Shots are oozing with color and neon blues and reds are used to symbolize egoism and danger respectively. There are mirrors in almost every shot and they’re utilized in every way possible, from background props to make dialogue scenes more memorable to doorways for exploring the human condition. The way the movie is cut gives it a dream like feeling in key moments and adds a constant sense of tension in others. Refn knows how to play with expectations and uses editing misdirects to get memorable and well-earned scares. The movie is violent and gory, but only when it needs to be, so I didn’t think it came off as gratuitous. I got lost in every scene because of Cliff Martinez’s music. It’s synthy and hypnotic, completely lulling you into the energy of whatever is happening on screen. I felt scared, excited, wanted to dance, and completely got into the zone. There’s a lot of range in the music and it’s on of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a movie. The sound editing is also on point and there’s not always music blaring, despite the obvious opportunities for it. When it suits the movie, silence and a distinct chime motif are used to thematically link pieces and add more tension. Put together, it’s an audio-visual experience that’s hard to beat. It knows when to assault the senses and when to hold back for the right moment.

Every performance is on point, but Fanning really shines as the lead of this giallo (big Suspiria vibes) inspired trip through the fashion industry. She starts off innocent and timid trying to find her footing. Never once does she feel manipulative or like an annoying goody two shoes. Instead, she feels almost like beauty personified, trying to make it in a cutthroat industry with only her looks at her side. Watching her transform into a more confident, narcissistic individual is harrowing but entertaining, because it feels natural from a storytelling/psychological perspective and supernatural from a thematic perspective.

My problems with the movie have to do more with the execution of the third act. There’s a lot of grounded realism in the first two acts with some more surreal elements, but by the time the third act rolls around it feels like a total switch. The story just starts going and gets really…. wow. It’s certainly effective and memorable, but I thought that it came off as too allegorical instead of balanced like story had been up to that point.

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TLDRThe Neon Demon is a psychological horror movie about the awful things that await a young model with big aspirations in Los Angeles and as an allegory about humanity’s relationship with beauty wrapped up in a slick neon infused color palette and an synthy mesmerizing soundtrack. If you like more surreal horror that focuses on atmosphere as opposed to jump scares or are interesting an fascinating take on narcissism, this is the movie for you.
Rating9.8/10
Grade A+

Review: The Devil's Candy

Director(s)Sean Byrne
Principal CastEthan Embry as Jesse Hellman
Kiara Glasco as Zooey Hellman
Pruitt Taylor Vince as Ray Smilie
Shiri Appleby as Astrid Hellman
Release Date 2015
Language(s)English
Running Time79 minutes

Despite being only 79 minutes, Sean Byrne’s sophomore feature feels more cohesive and put together than most horror releases out there. The story follows the Hellman family who move at the behest of their patriarch, Jesse, a struggling painter trying to help his family’s financial situation. However, their new house is filled with a few surprises of its own and Jesse finds himself possessed by his work once the movie is done. His paintings go from cute butterflies to horrific hellscapes and he becomes completely lost in his art, unable to process how long he’s been at the canvas. As he struggles to balance his work with his family he finds out that there’s also a potential killer on the loose and is forced to navigate increasingly more worrisome situations.

I love the family dynamic between the Hellman’s. It comes off as authentic and textured and you can tell exactly how each member operates in relation to the others. Both Jesse and his daughter, Zooey are charmed metal-heads while his wife (and primary source of family finances), Astrid, prefers more calming music. Watching Jesse and Zooey interact with other is heartwarming. It helps that Glasco and Embry play so well off each other. The latter comes off as a doting father, trying to find balance between his work life, duties to the family, and sense of artistic integrity. The former comes off as a playful kid, innocent to the harsh realities of the world but not stupid. When things start going wrong, the family dynamic is tested in ways that are both viscerally satisfying and thematically resonant. No dispute ever feels forced for the sake of generating conflict. It helps keep the movie feeling like a tight-knit package.

At the heart of the movie is a discussion of art, its inspirations, and the maddening way it can consume us if we let it. I love how it’s juxtaposed to highlight its destructive capacity- both in how certain forms of art can be destructive, but also in that the pursuit of artistic excellence can leave one unable to fulfill their other duties, thereby destroying a subjects state of balance. Art can be conscious, but at some level flows from a libidinal well that subsumes every other aspect of action. If we’re not careful, we can lose ourselves in it.

The camera always has a purpose and I was surprised at how effectively Byrne uses it to convey different themes. For example, there’s a move in montage scene early on where each member of the family is moving boxes around. There are no “cuts” and the camera stays stationary as people fade in and out. However, when the sequence is done, a character moves towards the “camera’s” position, and it’s actually a photo of the family. It’s a neat moment that shows the family is an series of interconnected entities that makes up one whole.

Edits and inter-cuts between related scenes are used to create these awesome visual connections between different elements that give moments much darker undertones. It helps that the movie utilizes tons of beautiful symmetric shots with saturated colors that just pop out of the screen, almost screaming at you to pay attention. The darker more disturbing images are hard to get out of your head and I have to praise the art direction for being so macabre and ghoulish. It’s unnerving and gives the movie a unique flair.

My only big problem with the movie is the very end, which feels simultaneously tacked on but poetically beautiful in a way. It kind of comes out of nowhere, but I enjoyed it in how it ties certain thematic threads up. I do think if the movie had spent maybe 10 more minutes just building up the elements to the final sequence it would have been amazing, but the way it’s done right now feels like an incomplete thought tacked to an otherwise finely-tuned movie.

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TLDRThe Devil’s Candy manages to blend family drama with intriguing scares and a narrative that’ll have you questioning what’s going on. Though the third act fumbles in some places, there’s more than enough visual flair and subtext to make up for it.
Rating9.2/10
Grade A

Go to Page 2 for my spoiler-full thoughts!

Review: Pyewacket

Director(s)Adam MacDonald
Principal CastNicole Munoz as Leah Reyes
Laurie Holden as Mrs.Reyes
Release Date 2017
Language(s)English
Running Time90 minutes

Pywacket takes a family drama about the agitations of growing up and dealing with grief and combines it with slow burn supernatural horror in an attempt to highlight the consequences of emotional decision making and communicative mishaps. After a series of tense and emotionally fueled agitations with her mother, Leah decides enough is enough and wishes for the former’s death. Unbeknownst to her, dark forces were listening and she’s forced deal with the consequences of her ill-begotten wish.

The story takes a while to build up and the supernatural elements don’t really ratchet up till the third act. The core of the movie is the drama between Leah and her mom and their inability to deal with the loss of their father/husband. Each party has valid grievances but can never find a way to gauge the other on it. Watching them struggle to communicate hits real emotional nerves because it feels so real. Their disagreements feel commonplace and easy to locate in our own lives. It also helps that Munoz and Holden bring vulnerability and volatility in all of their interactions, so its easy to get lost in the emotional ebb and flow at the heart of the movie.

Parent-children relationships always involve a level of friction because of the nature of the bond. Parents have to love and care for their children while maintaining their own well-being, and children have to listen to their parents, grow, and figure out their own path in the world. Clash is inevitable and sometimes when passions get too heated, we want awful things to happen to the other person. It’s scary to think about how dark our heads can go with enough stress and damage . Thankfully for us, the passions are usually momentary- fleeting moments of malevolence lost in transit. The reason the horror in Pyewacket works is because it forces us to confront our worst fears- what if that awful thing we wished on someone actually happened?

Unfortunately, as interesting as the concept of the movie is , it’s executed without a lot of creativity. Supernatural events happen whenever the story determines they’re convenient and nothing is ever that jarring as a visual scare. I’m someone who likes scary sequences to have some kind of purpose or explanation, but the malevolent entity in this movie just acts when it wants to in random ways, so its hard to distinguish it from other scary oddities in other movies. Like, Pywacket is a witch’s familiar. There’s so much potential there, and instead it’s just creepy supernatural entity #945. Now to Macdonald’s credit, the third act has some tense sequences and terrifying moments of realization at what’s actually going on, but it feels a bit formulaic given the cool set up the story has going for itself. Sure there are no jump scares, but there’s also not some batshit super fun absurd out there ending like The House of the Devil. That feels like a shame.

The movie also tries to incorporate Leah’s friends into different scenes but none of them feel fleshed out or close to her at all. I was left wondering how any of them were friends or what the dynamic between them was. Especially with how some of the scenes progressed, I figured that they would be better incorporated into the scares or the themes, but they’re just kind of cast aside.

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TLDRPyewacket is family drama about grief amplified with supernatural consequences. It’s a story about the dangers of emotional decision-making and the pitfalls of not communicating effectively. If you’re okay with a slow burn without any huge visceral payoffs, this is the movie for you. It may flub the third act a bit, but it tackles some very real fears and issues we all thinnk about.
Rating8.2/10
Grade B

Go to Page 2 for my spoiler-full thoughts!

Review: The Love Witch

Director(s)Anna Biller
Principal CastSamantha Robinson as Elaine Parks
Laura Waddell as Trish
Jared Sanford as Gahan
Gian Keys as Griff
Release Date 2016
Language(s)English
Running Time120 minutes

In honor of Valentine’s day, I present my review of The Love Witch, a nuanced feminist story about love, gender, agency, desire, and their infinite intersections. The movie follows Elaine, a witch who moves to California in the hopes of finding someone to love. Once there, she uses magic and rituals to aid in her goal, but is met with comedic and tragic consequences.

I’m someone who loves feminism in media (when it’s done well) and Biller’s story masterfully navigates themes within the larger genre. At first it can feel like there are too many heavy-handed comments and not-so-subtle hints about what characters are thinking. However, by the end of the movie it’s obvious that a lot of what was said was done in an effort to control narrative sources of ambiguity and make discussion more interesting/accessible. If more people are on the same page about initial events and character motivations, then the subsequent discussion can go more in depth on the what actually matters- the themes.

The Love Witch analyzes the way desire and love are positioned by society and in relation to sex/gender. Elaine accepts her position as eye-candy and utilizes the adoration and affection she receives to try and find love, a reciprocal exchange in her mind. She gives men exactly what they think they want, in the hopes that it’ll get them to be what she needs them to, but is always met with some kind of issue. The men get too emotional and she can’t relate, or they’re touchy and she’s uncomfortable. Watching her navigate the matrix of power relations is interesting because of how she is forced to don her sexuality and make use of it simultaneously. She is shamed and praised and the movie presents her choice as a path, not the only option. The way she approaches love is juxtaposed with other views, culminating in a discussion that will leave you thinking about what love really is.

The movie never feels preachy because it excels in developing situations in multifaceted ways. There are women and men who do “good” and “bad” things. It’s all couched in your perspective of what proper behavior looks like. Thankfully, the movie does a good job in making you question those interpretations, and going through that journey ends up revealing a lot about your own biases. The real horror is discovering these aspects of ourselves/society and thinking about how deep they run in constructing the bounds of what is and isn’t permissible behavior.

I love how the movie integrates witches into the world, in an unique and wholly original package. Witchcraft exists as a kind of protected religion in this world. Witches go about everyday life wearing their witch garb, selling and buying witchcraft related products at stores, holding/attending witchcraft lessons/rituals, etc. It’s a realistic take that gives the movie its own personality while keeping the more supernatural elements grounded. The story’s take on magic,love magic in particular, allows for imaginative and hypnotic horror sequences and also serves to expand the layers of the themes. Costume and set design is pristine and ties everything together, radiating color and personality. Elaine’s house for example, is filled with beautiful art work and colors that leap out at you so there’s always something to look at when she’s working in there. This can be said for all the different environments the movie navigates, each bursting with personality and a bright eye-catching color palette. I found myself drawn into each scene, completely immersed by the beauty of what I was seeing.

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TLDRThe Love Witch is a deep dive into the way we approach love and the methods by which society and gender determine the same. Despite feeling a bit heavy-handed with its dialogue, the movie isn’t preachy and manages to be visually stunning and thematically poignant. The story of a love-struck witch, desperate for a Prince Charming, willing to make use of her sexuality and prowess with spells to charm men is funny, visually intoxicating, scary, and innovative in how it flips the traditional final girl horror cliche. Highly recommend to fans of feminist media or anyone who wants a horror movie about love.
Rating9.7/10
Grade A+

Review: The Untamed

Director(s)Amat Escalante
Principal CastRuth Ramos as Alejandra
Simone Bucio as Veronica
Jesus Meza as Angel
Eden Villavicencio as Fabian
Release Date2016
Language(s)Spanish
Running Time 100 minutes

The Untamed is a thought provoking story about the depths of sexuality and the way that humans have codified and defined themselves in relations to those articulations creating a disconnect between ourselves and our inner most desires. The story plays out like a well thought out Mexican drama featuring staples of the genre: secrets, the stratification of sexuality and gender, violence, inner turmoil; but adds in a extraterrestrial tentacle sex creature for good measure, giving the movie an element of visual horror and making the themes go to the next level. If you ever thought The Shape of Water needed to be creepier and more unnerving instead of romantic, this is the movie for you.

The first scene in the movie depicts Veronica, a young women, who’s in the middle of orgasming due to her alien counterpart. The creature ends up injuring her, and two elder individuals who own the farm where the creature crash landed, ask Veronica to cease relations with it . Suffering from a new wound, she finds herself at a hospital, being treated kindly by a nurse, who she slowly befriends. Meanwhile, in another part of the city Alejandra, the film’s protagonist, deals with her unhappy domestic life. Her husband, Angel (ironic I know) uses her for sexual gratification but is rarely there for her. As the two groups’ stories interconnect, what follows is a sexual journey that’s harrowing, impossible to look away from, and deeply unsettling.

The movie deals with our relations to sex and sexuality. Every character’s orientation and reasons for wanting sex are coded differently. Watching those interactions play out with the sex monster in the background creates an interesting discussion on the place of sexuality and the way it’s deployed and internalized by rational agents. There are constantly scenes that juxtapose humans with animals to highlight the differences in how each group approaches their more base desires. Add in the ideas and themes of a well-rounded drama on top of that, and suddenly you have a piece that’s teeming with nuanced discussions. This is one of the most thought provoking movies I’ve seen on sex and sexuality in a long time.

That being said, the movie never exploits it’s premise to create fantasy sex sequences for the audience. Escalante is focused on the element of sexuality, not the visual depiction and subsequently goes to great efforts to show only glimpses of the creature and sexual actions. The camera slowly moves throughout important scenes, without revealing the shocking event at play until the very end. This is visual storytelling done right. Scenes and the way they’re shot and edited lead you to certain conclusions which are subverted in a way to make you sympathize with the characters and make future decisions more shocking.

The creature is rarely ever shown, except in tidbits and pieces, so its eventual reveal is well earned and horrifying. This is a creature feature done right, and I genuinely couldn’t avert my gaze when it’s full visage came onto screen. This process of slow reveals, building tension, and letting it all explode in one final reveal feels like the process of foreplay and sexual gratification, so the entire experience feels sublime and thematically resonant.

My biggest issue with the movie is a sub-plot involving some less involved characters that never plays out as much as I wanted it too. I like how they’re incorporated thematically, but I wish they made more sense from a story perspective, because they’re the only real aspects of the movie (sans the sex alien) that aren’t grounded. There are also a few moments where characters talk a bit too much , making some of the underlying ideas a bit more heavy-handed. I love how subtle the storytelling is, so these moments bothered me more than they would most other people.

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TLDRThe Untamed combines a well-executed and thought out drama with a creature feature involving an sex alien with tentacles. It’s well paced, prefers to show rather than tell, and presents one of most interesting discourses on sex/sexuality that I’ve seen in recent years. The movie prioritizes atmosphere and mood over visceral images and jump scares, so if you like the latter you may find yourself bored by this.
Rating9.3/10
Grade A

Review: The Witch

Director(s)Robert Eggers
Principal CastAnya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin
Ralph Ineson as William
Kate Dickie as Katherine
Harvey Scrhimshaw as Caleb
Ellie Grainger as Mercy
Lucas Dawson as Jonas
Release Date2015
Language(s)English
Running Time 93 minutes

After I had first seen The Witch, I was convinced the movie I saw and the general audience saw were completely different, because there’s absolutely no way someone could see this masterpiece and walk away thinking it’s only at 58% (as per Rotten Tomatoes audience score). Eggers’s period piece set in Puritanical times is a well-crafted, deeply layered story, that examines the deterioration of an incredibly religious family that finds themselves dealing with crises of faith and the very real threat of witches in the forest around them.

There’s no time wasted establishing the stakes and rules of the world the lead family finds themselves in. After William, the patriarch, refuses to bend to his community’s religious views, decrying them as sacrilege, his family finds themselves exiled, forced to find a new home in the wilderness. Soon after disaster strikes, the family finds themselves assaulted by the presence of supernatural happenings, a sense of constant disarray, maddening paranoia, and severe blows to their faith in the Almighty.

Eggers really nails the look and feel of the New England world we find ourselves within. The costumes all feel and look accurate and the subsequent way they get dirtied or marred with impure elements makes the movie feel gritty and rugged. Dialogue is on point and you can tell that there was a lot of effort put into keeping things honest and precise. I have found the experience to be better after watching the movie with subtitles, just so I could see all the dialogue, but after reading it I can confirm it really is as good as I thought it was. All this attention to detail ensures that are no distracting anachronisms that would otherwise distract us from the drama at play. I found myself completely immersed in the world around our lead family and as a result was completely engrossed in every little moment and action. I never felt the effects of the slower pacing, because I was lost in the experience of watching the family struggle against their obstacles.

Every character is fleshed out and feels like an integral part of the world. Anya Taylor-Joy absolutely kills it as Thomasin and sells the conflict integral to her character’s core. There are tons of close-up shots of her face, each demonstrating her reaction to the events around her. She manages to balance teen angst with religious turmoil culminating in a well-developed spiritual and emotional journey. The exploration of her characters growth as a guilty “sinner” combined with the period’s treatment of women lends itself to an interesting feminist journey that offers some nuanced thoughts about community, agency, and the relationship between women and children. Ineson’s portrayal of a religious man, too fueled by his ego to compromise on what counts as scripture, but so genuinely caring for his family that he sheds tears for their sake, strikes a strange blow at expectations. You’d think someone so hotheaded that they’d let their family get kicked out of a community would be prone to bursts of rage and insolence, but William comes off as a man just trying to do what he personally thinks is best for the family, even if he’s incapable of slowing down long enough to figure out what that is. Dicke is great as the mother, Katherine, and emotes her weariness and fatigue to great effect. Her latter interactions with Joy and Ineson are some of the most dramatic moments in the movie and add to the discourse on the place of women. Scrhimshaw is great as Caleb, the middle child of the family, and absolutely steals the show in latter portions of the movie, channeling some transcendental acting in a scene you won’t soon forget. Grainger and Dawson have fairly convincing child performances and kept their own in the serious setting.

Speaking of setting , did I mention that the movie looks and sounds amazing? Mark Korven’s score is absolutely ethereal and makes moments pop when it comes into play. It never tries to take a scene over. It only exists to accompany the eerie feeling and tense atmosphere. You really notice it because the movie is silent for the most part, choosing to focus on long shots that drive home the emotions underlying the scene. The movie employs a series of closeup shots, which give you great mental pictures of what’s running through the characters’ heads. You can gaze into their eyes, notice the way their face darts and moves, and see what’s happening underneath.

Finally, the movie is rich with themes but works as a surface-level story as well. The narrative is tight and filled with believable characterization. The presence of the supernatural is confirmed early on, because the focus of the horror is the unwinding family dynamic. Each character’s relation to their faith is altered/exacerbated because of the family’s expulsion from the colony, so the whole unit experiences a discordant crisis of faith. The events in the story would be horrifying if you were a devout Christian living back in those times and living through them would be a real hell. That gives the movie a layer of historical nuance that grounds its fears into the world the characters live in. The reason I can still remember the shocking moments from The Witch is because they happen sparingly, are never done for pure shock value,and add to the theme or previous character threads. There’s a purpose to each scare which gives the movie tons of re-watch value. It’s a movie you can watch to watch, or watch to analyze, and if you’re someone who enjoys slower paced movies, there’s a lot to get out of this.

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TLDRThe Witch is a masterful period horror that examines the disintegration of an exiled Puritan family forced to find a new life for themselves in the abandoned woods. Historically accurate dialogue, immaculate costume design, an ethereal and well-placed score, and gorgeous symmetrical close ups await those of you who can deal with a slower movie that relies on atmosphere instead of jump scares. The movies treatment of religion, ideology, and feminist thought are interesting and anyone interesting in watching those ideas intersect need to give this a try.
Rating10/10
Grade A+

There’s no spoiler section- I’ll be posting a more full analysis at a later time.