The film is a period supernatural horror set in the 17th century England revolving around a family who believe they their farm and family has been plagued by the Evil.
Director/Writer – Robbert Eggers
Cast – Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Garinger, Lucas Dawson
When settlers William and Katherine are banished from their Puritan colony, along with their kids, they settle near a large secluded forest area supposedly inhabited by evil spirits.
Soon their life starts falling apart. Their young infant son vanishes. Their eldest son is supposedly bewitched. The remaining three kids blame each other of being witches. And the deeply religious bewildered parents feel it’s the wrath of the God.
The most impressive thing about this critically acclaimed film is the exceptional treatment of this genre which was also called ”elevated horror” by critics.
It moves on from typical horror tropes to a slow story telling that relies more on atmospherics, scenics and setting. The grey or dimly lit frames, natural lighting and background score add to the effect. There’s a constant fear of unknown and unseen. Efficient editing gives split second flashes of the scary scenes instead of dwelling upon them.
An impressively authentic and well researched period era look adds to its allure. The costumes, sets, language, extreme religious mind sets and lifestyle of that era has been depicted well.
It also impressed me to know how well researched and well-worked upon were all aspects of the film.
What works for some might not work for others. Those who do not have a palate for slow films or those who like the “more obvious” kind of horror might not enjoy it.
For the reasons mentioned above, I think it’s a fantastic film that defied the more prevalent norms of the horror genre and delivered something very different and authentic.