I have mixed feelings about The Witch, directed by newcomer Robert Eggers. It is an extremely well made 17th century period piece, with dialogue pulled directly from period documents, there is a sense of realism to the film. I don’t know where they found these child actors, but they absolutely nailed the dialogue. It seems as if they had been speaking old English their entire lives. The cinematography is quite good as well. The atmosphere was so natural and creepy.
Despite the technical proficiency and the rich atmosphere of the film, there were some problems that plagued the film for me. First, the mother is in hysterics throughout the film and berates every member of the family, including her husband. At one point, I wanted it to be her that made the deal with the devil? It didn’t seem natural for a wife in the Puritan setting to treat her husband like she does. Secondly, I think the witch was revealed to early in the film (even for a movie called The Witch). It could have built so much suspicion and tension as they begin to turn on one another. Finally, the last ten minutes was far too on the nose. I would have preferred a more ambiguous ending. instead, we got cheesy special effects and an interaction that was completely unnecessary. I have heard lots of good reviews but I’m just not seeing how it is that special.