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the witch

Posted on April 7, 2017

Chopping Wood in The Witch and The Amityville Horror

Dawn Keetley

Robert Eggers’ The Witch (2015) is a horror film, to be sure, although most critics have tended not to treat it as a genre film, focusing on its impressive innovations in production, narrative, and cinematography.

Every time I’ve watched the film, though, I’ve been struck by the scenes of Ralph Ineson’s William, the Puritan patriarch, furiously chopping wood. He does so three times (that magic number) and each time he is more disturbed. These scenes stand out not only because lumber is pretty much the only thing the struggling family has in abundance but also because it strikingly evokes The Amityville Horror, both the 1979 original (Stuart Rosenberg) and the 2005 remake (Andrew Douglas).

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Posted on February 21, 2016

The Witch: Dread-Soaked Wilderness

Dawn Keetley

2015   |   NR   |   USA   |  Robert Eggers   |   93 min

Grade: A+

Summary: A brilliant and unsettling film that perfectly balances natural and supernatural explanations.

Robert Eggers has written and directed one of those rare horror films that will, without a doubt, enter the canon of important and enduring horror films: it will be loved by all kinds of fans for all kinds of reasons; and it will be talked about for years and taught in film classes. In case that puts you off, don’t let it! The film is also beautiful, viscerally disturbing, and downright scary. The acting is brilliant—especially Ralph Ineson as the father, William, and the luminescent Anya Taylor-Joy as his eldest daughter Thomasin. Try taking your eyes off her when she’s on the screen.

1. The Witch, Thomasin2

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