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The Witch

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, Canada, United States · 2016
1h 32m
Director Robert Eggers
Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw
Genre Mystery, Horror

In 1630s New England, William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness, exiled from their settlement when William defies the local church. When their newborn son vanishes and crops mysteriously fail, the family turns on one another.

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What are people saying?

Melanie Greenberg Profile picture for Melanie Greenberg

Watching this feels like you are being pulled straight into a ghost story, but the unrelenting dread is all worth it when you reach the exhilaration of the ending.

What are critics saying?


Time Out by David Ehrlich

The Witch is one of the most genuinely unnerving horror films in recent memory because Eggers has the guts to earn your fear.


Hitfix by Drew McWeeny

Eggers manages to create a sense of mood and dread that is so suffocating at times that it feels like we're watching something genuinely transgressive, something we should not be seeing.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The Witch becomes a focused portrait of fixed rituals crumbling in the face of inexplicable forces, evoking the fear of change lurking in the shadows at every moment. Despite the setting, its scares are uniquely contemporary.


The Guardian by Jordan Hoffman

This movie may be too slow and verbose to be the next breakout horror hit, but its focus on themes over plot is what elevates it to something near greatness.


The Film Stage by Jordan Raup

Eggers, whose production and costume design background is on full display in the austerely crafted setting, effectively builds the tension of this divine battle, one which isn’t scary, but surely memorable.


Variety by Justin Chang

Writer-director Robert Eggers’ impressive debut feature walks a tricky line between disquieting ambiguity and full-bore supernatural horror, but leaves no doubt about the dangerously oppressive hold that Christianity exerted on some dark corners of the Puritan psyche.


The Playlist by Rodrigo Perez

A deeply impressive first film by director Robert Eggers, “The Witch” is immaculately constructed, evinces an exquisitely ominous tone, and is unequivocally haunting. It’s exacting look at the dissonance of human nature is terrifying.


Time by Stephanie Zacharek

Although Eggers is discreet – the things you don’t see are more horrifying than those you do – the picture’s relentlessness sometimes feels like torment. But if you can survive it, The Witch is a triumph of tone.


Screen International by Tim Grierson

The Witch’s greatest asset is its precisely controlled menace, and so even when nothing terrifying is happening, it feels like something ominous could be unleashed at any moment.


The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

Writer-director Robert Eggers' debut feature impresses on several fronts, notably in the performances, historical feel and visual precision, but the overall effect is relatively subdued and muted, probably too much so for mainstream scare fans.

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