Sunday, September 20, 2015

TIFF Talk 2015: Emma, "The Witch"

Name: Emma, Toronto

The Film: The Witch (USA/Canada)

What's it about?

The Witch takes place in the 17th Century New England era. [It begins when a family is banished from their plantation by their community and resettles in the dark woods, unknowingly inhabited by witches]. A lot of children die.

Did you like it?

I was underwhelmed. I came in with high expectations because of all the great reviews the film received at Sundance, but that's entirely my fault. I've watched many cult films so my sensor has kind of dulled. I'm terrified of scary movies, but The Witch was more of a suspense film to me. I didn't like the movie's first shock, which included infanticide. It's sort of a cliche tool to scare audiences. To me, killing elders is more provocative, but no one does that because elders are closer to death.  I just think killing babies is too easy to shock audiences. There was plenty of foreshadowing so the film wasn't entirely mysterious to me. I knew what was going to happen at the end. An audience member asked the director, Robert Eggers, what he left out of the film that was too shocking and after hearing his response, I wish he would have incorporated it in the film. It would have made for a more disturbing climax.

The Witch will be released in 2016.

Watch The Witch trailer

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