I can understand why first time director Robert Eggers had a difficult time pitching the Witch to studios who reportedly all turned it down as being “too weird and too obscure.” After which the director reportedly said he then realized he would have to make it a more conventional film project. And I think, man if this was in his terms a “more conventional version of his directorial debut then it really makes me wonder what the original script was like before he “toned it down.”
I had read a few other critics comments before going to see the film which seemed to make the film out to be a blood relative or climatic cousin to the 1999 sleeper hit classic the Blair Witch Project… that premise I assume is based on the cast of unknowns, the minimal budget and the extremely measured pacing of the film. I can understand the sentiment but the concept of that argument is all wrong and out of place.
If I could describe the Witch in one thought it would have to be this…. think of it as a 17th century Old English era version of Lovely Molly. If you like Lovely Molly which I feel shares the conceptual “spirit” of this film
(the whole time you are not sure exactly what is wrong but you are definitely sure something is not right) and can deal with a period piece film, then by all means go ahead. (Lovely Molly 2012 ironically having been directed by Eduardo Sánchez the director of the aforementioned Blair Witch Project in 1999)
Freshman first time director Robert Eggers does a masterful job at creating and dispensing a honest sense of dread, and fear, base on his original script.
And despite the almost “critical acclaim” for the film style and prose, delivery and esthetics as the credit of the film began almost everyone around me either groaned or laughed. ( if you were one of those like minded people, who praise substance over style, feel free to scroll down past my remaining comments and watch a 17th century witch themed scene for the Simpsons below and have a nice laugh as Bart accuses Lisa of witchcraft……
Anyway…The soundtrack was filled with long drawn out non vocal score which was a great tension builder, and
i swear used the musical score for 2001, specifically the scene in which Bowman enters the Monolith... It definitely made the film almost as chilling as the soundtrack of Sinister (2012)
My girlfriend thought the whole film was dull and slow. But I considered it deliciously disturbing and conscientiously creepy. Though admittedly more of a psychological thriller than a conventional horror film. The pacing was steady and straight forward (
my girlfriend suggested long and, tedious as more accurate descriptions) I graciously concide that, but again only in respect to the use of the old english language speech which was a times a bit difficult to decipher, and thus made the film feel like a bit of a an endurance endeavor in artistic tolerance.
And even though the last fifteen minutes was filled with a number of rather unsettling moments, I feel that they would have been better inter-spliced through out the entire film to keep the normal movie goer sharp and engaged.
Instead of being a rousing climatic ending, it seemed, a bit underwhelming and might I say even pretentious…. But I will say that it did leave open the possibility for a honest and authentic sequel….