One of the scariest films I’ve ever seen has finally been slated for release by A24 Films. I saw The Witch, director Robert Eggers’ New England folktale, at Sundance earlier this year (read my review here) knowing nothing about the movie beyond a simple logline that teased a 17th century-set thriller. I left the theater absolutely shaken, astounded at not only the masterful way in which Eggers commands atmosphere and tension throughout the entire runtime, but also how genuinely scared I had been.
And now you can enjoy the terror too! A24 announced today that it will release The Witch in wide release on February 26, 2016, where it will go head-to-head with director Timur Bekmambetov’s “new adaptation” of Ben-Hur (it’s really just a remake). I actually think it’s quite smart to go wide with this film, and hopefully audiences will be down for a genuinely good/frightening horror film that hinges much more on dread and atmosphere than jump scares or dumb mythology.
If you haven’t seen the trailer for The Witch, watch it below. If you have, watch it again! The film stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Katie Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson, and Ellie Grainger.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Witch:
Set in New England circa 1630, The Witch follows a farmer who get cast out of his colonial plantation and is forced to move his family to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest rumored to be controlled by witches. Almost immediately, strange and unsettling things begin to happen-the animals turn violent, the crops fail, and one of the children disappears, only to return seemingly possessed by an evil spirit. As suspicion and paranoia mount, everyone begins to point the finger at teenage daughter Thomasin. They accuse her of witchcraft, which she adamantly denies…but as circumstances become more and more treacherous, each family member’s faith, loyalty, and love will be tested in shocking and unforgettable ways.