The Witch | Chicago Reader

The Witch

Rated R 92 minutes 2016

In the tradition of William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973), this chilling low-budget horror movie taps into the same temporal fear that sparks religious feeling. A New England farmer (Ralph Ineson), cast out of his Puritan community for heresy, repairs with his wife and children to a cold and remote forest clearing, where privation and the mysterious disappearance of the infant child begins to eat away at them. The oldest child (Anya Taylor-Joy in a fiercely focused performance) confesses early on that she's violated all God's commandments in thought, and as the elements begin to grind her parents down, she senses a supernatural temptation. Writer-director Robert Eggers (who based his dialogue on historical records) makes good use of the wild northern Ontario country where this was shot, draining the woods of life with a cold, gray color palette.

Film Credits

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Director: Robert Eggers

Producer: Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond, Daniel Bekerman, Rodrigo Teixeira, Lourenco Sant'Anna, Sophie Mas, Michael Sackler, Julia Godzinskaya, Chris Columbus, Eleanor Columbus, Alex Sagalchik, Alexandra Johnes, Jonathan Bronfman, Thomas Benski and Lucas Ochoa

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson, Bathsheba Garnett, Sarah Stephens, Julian Richings and Wahab Chaudhry

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