So I just got home from watching the movie, The Witch. I was very pleased. I actually left the theater with that excited feeling you get where you immediately want to talk to somebody about the movie, about things you noticed or observed as well as talk about anything you may not have quite understood.
First and foremost, the score and sound effects truly made this movie what it is. They literally set the tone for the film and supported it throughout. For those who may not know, the movie revolves around a family who is forced to move out of town and homestead. I won't get into the "why'" here, you will just have to watch the movie. Unfortunately, the family chose land that bordered on a wooded area where a real witch lived. I'm not talking Wiccan, Pagan, or Hollywood witch. This is the hardcore Satanic witch from medieval paranoid fantasies. As such, this was once a normal human being but who sold her soul to the Devil in exchange for supernatural powers. Since she has no soul she is inhuman, beast-like, and quite frankly a monster. She can not be redeemed, only killed. All traces of the witch's former humanity are long gone. The movie treats her almost like a force of nature.
The witch has all the powers shared with her kind. Her true form is a hideous hag but she can shape-shift into a beautiful form. She can fly. She can shape-shift into animals. She blights crops and sickens and kills livestock and humans. Unfortunately for the family, the witch has turned her wrath against them.
What really makes the movie work is that even though the family knows that all the evil stuff going on around them is the work of witchcraft they ultimately don't know who is behind it or why. So such a situation often invokes an insane level of paranoia and that's what we see in the movie. The paranoia continues to grow as the family spirals down further toward it's destruction. The conclusion of the film is shocking but it is so masterfully shot that it is in it's own way quite beautiful.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I give The Witch an 8. I would recommend it to interested viewers. I would also add that it may be best to watch it at night and especially when you are in a particularly spooky mind-frame. The movie probably would have fared far better had it been released around Halloween-time.