Screened as part of Autumn Events 2016

The Witch 2015

Directed by Robert Eggers

A Puritan family in 1630 New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession in this superbly crafted immersion in period horror from first-time writer/director Robert Eggers.

USA In English
92 minutes DCP
R16 (content may disturb, horror, violence)

Director, Screenplay

Producers

Jay Van Hoy
,
Lars Knudsen
,
Jodi Redmond
,
Daniel Bekerman
,
Rodrigo Teixeira

Photography

Jarin Blaschke

Editor

Louise Ford

Production designer

Craig Lathrop

Costume designer

Linda Muir

Music

Mark Korven

With

Anya Taylor-Joy (Thomasin)
,
Ralph Ineson (William)
,
Kate Dickie (Katherine)
,
Harvey Scrimshaw (Caleb)
,
Ellie Grainger (Mercy)
,
Lucas Dawson (Jonas)
,
Bathsheba Garnett (the witch)
,
Sarah Stephens (young witch)
,
Julian Richings (governor)
,
Wahab Chaudhry (Black Phillip)

Festivals

Sundance
,
Melbourne
,
Toronto 2015

Puritan terrors of devilry and damnation come screaming to life in this impeccably crafted and thrillingly scary debut. Set in 1630, the film follows a deeply religious family living in self-imposed isolation on the edge of the New England wilderness. As mysterious events occur, not least the sudden vanishing of their newborn son, the family is engulfed in dread. An evil spirit has invaded the forest and the farmyard – or does it lurk within their own sinful hearts?

Writer-director Robert Eggers immerses us in densely researched period recreation and the visual shadings of a 17th-century etching. The actors seem to have emerged from a time capsule, speaking the language of King James and, as Lorde has tweeted, “surrendering their characters’ bodies to possession.”

“One of several recent genre standouts to emerge from the indie-art cinema crowd to chill audiences with more than forgettable gore and cheap jump scares. The Witch makes exceptional use of a seldom-tapped Puritanical setting to build riveting, slow-burn terror.” — Jen Yamato, The Daily Beast

“Eggers manages to create a sense of mood and dread that is so suffocating at times that it feels like we're watching something genuinely transgressive, something we should not be seeing… He has created something that feels like it cuts deep, that gets past simple genre definitions to become something unique.”  Drew McWeeny, Hitfix