Thoughts on The VVitch

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The second episode of Scary Thoughts is going to cover The Witch. I hadn’t seen the film until tonight and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Everyone kept saying “watch it with the subtitles on” but you clowns obviously don’t read Shakespeare or your King James. It’s understandable if you’re paying attention.

I won’t recap the film here and there aren’t any spoilers in this particular entry. The soundtrack is powerful, if not exactly what you’d expect. It could have passed for borrowed cuts from There Will Be Blood. Tense violin and cello runs are about as classic a horror element as it gets, but they are well welcome on this one. An option could’ve been some sort of anachronistic, sparse synth business like you find in The Knick, but this music lets you soak in the 17th century bleakness.

The actors are all doing good work here. The father’s puritanical sterness, the wife’s shrill theological coldness, the absurdly chaotic sing-song blasphemy of the twins, the son’s doomed urges, and the daughter’s erotic devilry are well played. Even the damn goat does a solid job of stomping about in a menacing, ruminant fashion.

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Visually, it’s a joy. It reminds me of the sort of paintings you’d see in the 17th century Golden Age of Dutch painting. Or more precisely, Kevin Best’s macabre photography inspired by those paintings.

Plotwise, it’s fairly straight forward. My take on it is what you see is what happens. Sure, you could try and get all meta about visions or whatnot, but that’s the least interesting interpretation.

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