I have seen many horror movies over the years but whenever I am asked which one is my favorite, the answer is always quick and easy: The VVitch (2015). Having always had a fascination for the occult, especially the old New England folktales involving witches, I absolutely HAD to see it and it absolutely did not disappoint!
If you haven’t seen it by now, The VVitch is an atmospheric horror film about a family of Puritans and a series of terrifying events that transpire after they are banished from the local town to live alone in the woods. The main character, Thomasin, is the eldest daughter of the family and dutifully follows her family into the woods, displeased that they even left England for the New World to begin with, let alone to be outsiders. As Black Phillip enters the story and begins tempting Thomasin, we discover that her life there may have been much more comfortable than what it has become, although it is doubtful her parents were any less strict. Her life in the New World is hard, cold, and lonely and you can’t help but find yourself rooting for her in the end.
I loved so many things about this movie. Firstly, the mood is everything! The movie is dark and disturbing. It wastes no time establishing that a threat is real, with the first kill being the abduction and offscreen death of an infant that ends in a jarring scene of the witch using what we assume is the body as a flying ointment. There’s no reliance on jump scares either. Things are just a slow, steady, ominous burn, but it pays off in the best way.
This leads me to my second yet equally enjoyable factor: The VVitch is honest about its evil. We watch the slow corruption of Thomasin and the unexplained events taking place around her and assume this is going to go down the same path as many other films: she’s going insane, or the big reveal will be some metaphor for or against religion or sin, the witch is really the good guy, things of that sort. But then you get to the end, and that’s not what happens.
This story is exactly what it told you it was from the beginning: the witches are frighteningly evil and corrupted by a dark entity. It is a scary folktale. A wonderfully done one at that! That’s why The VVitch is my favorite horror movie.
Wouldst thou like to live deliciously? -The VVitch