The Witch – Halloween Horror Month Movie Spectacular 2016 Day 31

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the-witch

We end this month of horror movies with what turned out to be the most unsettling film so far: The Witch. It’s subtitled “A New England Folktale” and that is precisely what it turns out to be. A folk tale, or elements of folk tales, translated to the screen. Complete with the sometimes horrifying nature of folk tales. The movie follows a family of puritan settlers in New England who strike out on their own after being banished from their community due to religious differences and the father’s unwillingness to stop preaching. They build a farm at the edge of the woods and for a while everything is fine. Until the youngest child, only a baby, disappears. That’s when everything begins to fall apart.

I’d say there are two ways to view this movie. Either you take what is shown literally, and there really is an evil witch living in the woods preying on the family. Or the idea of the witch is a shared delusion made stronger by isolation, fear, superstition and desperation. I lean towards the latter, as the acts of the witch are very stereotypical of witches in folklore. Whatever the case may be, I found the movie very effective in keeping up the mood and tension throughout.

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