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‘The Witch’: A frightening February flick

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It’s been a hot minute since a truly chilling horror movie has come along.

Robert Eggers’ Puritan pandemonium flick about a rascally forest dweller tormenting a family of 1630s Christians is not that movie.

The unnerving subject matter in “The Witch” sears so deep into one’s skin that it can only be classified as a psychological thriller, but transcends both genres commendably.

The New England folktale begins with William (Ralph Ineson) and Katherine (Kate Dickie) starting a new life on the edge of the tauntingly maniacal wilderness with their five children.

When their youngest goes missing and their livelihood is threatened with the wilting of their crops, hysteria ensues in the theatrical way only a group of God-fearing whities could cook up.

Ineson and Dickie (“Games of Thrones”) give powerful performances as struggling parents trying to cope with the evils that surround them, but are severely outshined by newcomer Anya Taylor–Joy.

Taylor–Joy plays the eldest daughter Thomasin in what I would consider an Oscar–worthy performance.

She is delightfully morbid as she grapples to carry her siblings with the judgment of her jealous, grieving mother and her irresponsible father.

With a spine–tingling soundtrack a la Dario Argento’s wickedly sinister “Suspiria” – another fantastic witch flick – and cringe–worthy visuals, “The Witch” churns up an ooky feeling that rides with you on the car ride home.

Eggers’ first big venture into movie making establishes him in my eyes as an up–and–coming director, as the film features sharp editing and manages to scare without all of the gimmicky jumps and bumps.

The historically–accurate dialogue melts into the spot-on scenery and wardrobe to make a believable horror movie – all the more terrifying.

If you’re looking for a fast–paced, torture porn, or predictable slash–and–dash horror flick, turn your easily–entertained gaze elsewhere.

But if you’re looking for something scary, sexy, smart and just the right touch of off–the–wall sadism, then “The Witch” is your late night, hold me tight, flick.

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
‘The Witch’: A frightening February flick