Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw,
Director: Robert Eggers
In 1630s New England, a man and his family leave their community to live a more pious life and be closer to God. But when their baby goes missing on their eldest daughters watch, the family starts to question if their is an evil presence in their family.
Incredible film from first-time feature director Robert Eggers, and definitely one to watch, I haven’t been able to get this film out of my head since I saw it.
Focusing on a family whose piousness is strict even by Puritan standards, the film captures the social and political ideas of the time incredibly well. The plot is almost historical in that it creates the documented stories of witchcraft of the time period that gave us events like the Salem witch trials. It’s incredibly evocative and accurate. But more important, it’s completely chilling.
The film is stolen by the strong performance of Taylor-Joy as Thomasin, the eldest child who is close to her younger brother Caleb (Scrimshaw) and tries hard to be as dedicated to religion as her father William (Ineson). Her baby brother is under her care one day when he is spirited away during a game of peek-a-boo by an unseen presence. The baby is not recovered, and her mother’s (Dickie) grief soon turns to anger and confusion at her daughter who cannot give an account of how the child went missing. Increasingly frustrated that her parents seem to find her responsible, and that she is left to care for her uncontrollable four year old twin siblings, events soon begin to spiral into the terrifying and grotesque. Is something truly awful hiding in the woods? Or within the very walls of the family home?
Beautifully shot, capturing the wild New England landscape and farmstead, with excellent performances from the cast, the film is something highly unusual and special. And historically accurate.
See It If: You like horror, or have been wondering where all the original scary movie plots went, or if you want to see something a little out of the box, if you’re brave enough.