The VVitch is everything I’ve ever wanted. I know. That’s high praise. I’ll narrow it down. The VVitch is everything I’d want out of a story titled The VVitch. It Is a story about paranoia and distrust like most classic witch stories, and it is also a story that doesn’t fall into many of the traps a classic Witch tale could.
Every moment feels perfect, so much so that Robert Eggers is a director who’s work I can’t wait to see continue and grow. It’s such a tense story that builds logically. It feels like a nightmare that you can’t stop looking at.
The VVitch follows a rather large family that leaves their Calvinist-ish colony to better follow the word of God. The father who is so prideful in his own belief takes his family with him because his faith in God holds so strong he believes God will protect them.
A great strength of this film is we never feel like we’re meant to look down our noses at the father or mother. None of the belief’s – as maddening as we might think they are now – are jokes. This is enforced by the fact that early on, we know, there is, in fact, a Witch. A Witch who can take many forms and speak many ways. It makes the horror of false accusations and the distrust that forms all the more gripping.
What Eggers manages to avoid is make any of his characters unsympathetic. Every character becomes convinced based on convictions that we see illustrated early in the films. The Father doesn’t distrust the daughter till everything says he has to. We understand that his faith must lead him to fear her. The Mother distrusts her when everything says that she must. We also see that her mother already distrusts her and fears her more as she develops into a woman. Stories about witches can tend to be shrill and abrasive when characters suddenly think someone is a witch, and you do not understand what would make them think like that. Everything fit’s together so perfectly and you completely believe how terrifying and real witches seemed.
Wouldst thou like to live deliciously? -Black Phillip
The gray that sits over the movie is so well used and beauty is created with such a limited pallet. This combined with a score that is satanic and feels like instruments being slowly tortured into submission left me so unsettled. So many times I wanted to get up but I couldn’t.
There’s something about it, that just pulls you in. YOU JUST CAN’T STOP LOOKING. The VVitch is so defiantly attention grabbing yet vile at times, vile, but not so vile or gory it takes you out of the movie (*COUGH COUGH* Bone *COUGH COUGH* Tomahawk *COUGH*). I can’t undersell the nightmare elements. You see truly disturbing images that feel like a taro card come to life and flash away to something else that’s equally terrifying. The VVitch is a satanic fairytale and puritan nightmare, a story of faith and its downfall in pride. Odd, scary, haunting and something I could watch a million times. The VVitch is to Witch stories what Kubrick’s The Shinning is to ghost stories.
Post Script: All of the performances in here are great. Anya Joy-Taylor, however, is exceptional and magnetic. If she doesn’t become a fixture of filmmaking in the next few years we are all at a major loss.