The VVitch (2016)

the-witch-posterReviewed and Written by: Chris Carrine

Today I will be reviewing the 2015, likely never to be a cult classic “The VVitch” (what was the fucking point of the two V’s?).

The VVitch was written and directed by Robert Eggers who is known mostly for his behind the scene work, dark short films, and well-groomed facial hair. Making his big budget debut, it is very apparent that his passion for set and costume design were a big part of his approach to making this film. It was filmed in Kiosk, Ontario (note that in the production credits its says “he wanted to film the picture in New England but the lack of tax incentives meant he had to settle for Canada” SUCKADIIIICKKK Wikipedia), and seemingly on a low budget as the bulk of the movie takes place on the family farm of some excommunicated Puritan Christians.

Lead by their father William, this family is banished from a settlement of English type people for not quite adhering to their particular brand of Christianity. With the help of some unnecessarily suspenseful violin and choir music, they quickly establish themselves on a small farm conveniently located a day’s ride from the settlement and 100 feet from a spooky forest (I wonder if there be witches in that forest.. Spoiler alert..  VVitches be shoppin’).

Within 10 minutes of this movie, they get right down to it. With arguably the most disturbing part of the movie (there may or may not be some kid-fuckin’ later), the VVitch kidnaps the family’s newborn baby Samuel and steals away into the spooky forest. If you pay to see this movie then your money is pretty much well spent on this scene alone because where else will you see what can only be described as “the newborn baby mortar and pestle” sequence. Gross!!

After this point, the family slips into chaos.  The conductor of this crazy train is the mother Katherine. Brilliantly portrayed by Kate Dickie (apparently she’s in Game of Thrones {wouldn’t know, I have a life}), Katherine’s faith is unhinged by the death of her youngest and she becomes bedridden and accusatory adding tension to an already Fucked up situation.  The only semblance of normalcy comes from the would be heroine of the story Tomasin played by Anya Taylor-Joy {(she’s been in some stuff) and thankfully she’s 19 cause you see her walking bare assed for 5 minutes at one point…great butt}. Tomasin is quickly pegged as the scapegoat for the family’s woes claiming that she is responsible for the VVitchery and loss of the baby Samuel.  On the morning of the day she is supposed to be sent off to live with another family, she and her brother Caleb go into the woods for some reason??

They lose track of their dog and horse and get separated rather quickly leaving Tomasin to find her way back to the farm and Caleb to find the VVitch. In this sequence, the VVitch choses to appear attractive and boy was she!!  Played by Victoria Secret model Sarah Stephens, this incarnation of the witch seduces Caleb (he’s like 9 or 10) and brings him in for a kiss (the kid fuckin’ is implied). Which brings up the question..  When they were auditioning for this movie were they like “just so you know.. You gotta French-kiss a child” and seemingly she’d have to be okay with that? I guess as long as she want like “I’LL FILM THIS FUCKING MOVIE FOR FREE!!!”It’s okay?? I digress.  From this point on there’s no question in the family’s collective mind what is going on but they seem to have trouble getting away from the notion that Tomasin is responsible.

I wont spoil too much of the movie but I will say that it drags a bit from here until maybe the last 15 minutes.  Some interesting deaths, dreams and themes play out in a very believable way and you’re left with Tomasin faced with a dilemma of faith so to speak. Lets just say good wins over evil (evil being organized religion) and she walks around naked for a bit.

The VVitch doesn’t have the same haunting effect that say a paranormal movie would but the Satanic and Witchcraft tropes were very well done and just downright awesome.  So much so that it was endorsed by the Satanic Temple, which is a pretty sweet stamp to have on your DVD if you ask me.  I would recommend maybe waiting for this movie to be released on a format you can watch at home as the dialogue is a little hard to follow and a theatre full of hooligans and ne’er-do-wells isn’t the proper venue to concentrate.

All in all, I would say that this was a good movie. Not necessarily a good horror movie but a good movie nonetheless. In my personal opinion, there could have been more VVitch content, perhaps less ole timey English accents (the dialects were inconsistent {Tomasin sounded Irish?}) and maybe save the intense music for when stuff is ACTUALLY HAPPENNING!

 

Rating 8/10