Whilst cogniscant of some very high opinions of this saga of witchlore and demonic possession, I am not of like mind. The first half I found quite static, concentrating on building up an atmosphere of spookiness (thanks largely to eerie soundtrack effects) which, when it's delivered in visuals in the second half, complete with obligatory gore (as well as a mysterious rabbit and a black goat), struck me as pretentious and verging on the just plain silly.
The setting is New England, 17th century. In a kind of prologue, an apparently devout Christian family is awaiting a verdict from a kind of official inquiry into their supposed dabblings in witchcraft, their sentence being to be exiled to live in seclusion from the rest of society, which they do, the parents caring for a number of children within a wide age range, including a baby. They also subsist on the produce of a small menagerie. The first indication of something supernatural going on is when the baby literally disappears from in front of one of the daughters even while she is playing with it. Of course, being religious-minded the parents and the other children come to the 'reasonable' conclusion that some negative influence is at work - which it is, of course. Accusations of being in league with this evil force start flying between adults and between children.
I didn't know the names of any single person in the cast, though I see that one or two have been in films which have previously come my way.
In this film, where stretches are in virtual monochrome, if director Robert Eggers (whose first full-length feature this appears to be) achieved what he had in mind, then I've seen films of similar genre done better and more convincingly realised - and I'll be generous and draw a veil over the very last two or three minutes!
But if you're curious enough then do go and see it for yourself. A lot more people have been highly impressed by this product than there are those of my opinion. Myself, I can only award it a.......................3.
7 minutes ago
I love a good horror film, but I can do without the unnecessary blood and gore.ReplyDelete
Scare me; don't gross me out.
Some may argue, Bob, that blood and gore are requisites of a 'good horror film', though whether it's always necessary is a moot point. Here it's not overdone to the point of excess - and the near b/w visuals detract from it being too lurid. However, blood isn't always necessary to make an effective film. For example, 'The Blair Witch Project' scared the beejesus out of me the first time I saw it (in the cinema) and that had none.Delete
I've never heard of this film. While the genre does intrigue me, I've discovered that most of these "horror"-type films promise much more than they deliver. They all seem to be produced on a factory assembly line.ReplyDelete
I'd give this one points for style, Jon, though I did think it also veered a bit towards the derivative - not to mention more than a nod to Arthur Miller.Delete
Unrelated to this film other than its New England setting, I just watched an episode of RuPaul's Drg Race on my DVR. The winner of this episode won a 4 night stay in a New England Gay Guesthouse. She gasp "You're sending me over seas?"ReplyDelete
I howled as did some of the other Drag Queens sharing the stage.
Sorry fresh in my memory and then reading this I just had to share.
That made me laugh too, F.B. Thanks for the share. But I'm wondering if she didn't catch the word 'New' or did she really believe what you and I are now laughing at. You, having seen it, will know.ReplyDelete
Witches - the concept - never fails to fascinate us.ReplyDelete
I guess I am not surprised there are more movies about them.
I'd like to see a film or two where present day witchcraft (and voodoo-ism) remains rife. There's no need to name certain countries). It's a virtually untapped resource. I wonder if the film industry is afraid of shaming them, yet it saps so much rational behaviour from those caught in its pernicious web - just like some religions, in fact.Delete