The horror genre has lost a lot of its power in recent years, with studio-sanctioned flicks that toe the PG-13 line and a focus on tired jump scares and nonsensical villains and backstories. Indie horror is where its at, and The Witch looks like a stunning example of the form.
Enough chat, here’s the first full trailer for the new movie. Be warned - it is deeply, deeply creepy...
It’s all imagery and atmosphere with a real sense of dread in every frame. There’s a definite advantage to the 17th Century setting here and as yet untamed world of early American settlement.
Fear of the unknown was a very real thing and the contrast between the puritan faith and whatever lurks within the forest sets up a tantalising battle for nothing less than the souls of this young family.
It’s also gorgeous to look at, a testament to the skill of writer/director Robert Eggers who came up as a production and costume designer on a whole slew of shorts over the last five years. The Witch is his feature debut and it looks like there’s another fresh new voice in indie horror.
That indie label is important - this film was completed on a small budget without the need for studio interference.
It must have been a tough slog for all involved but the advantage is that they get to make the film they want and later hope to sell it on to a distributor, without the need for major changes.
The Witch picked up distribution from A24 Films ahead of its premiere at Sundance, where it won a Best Directing Award and rave reviews.
The only bad news is that we’re not going to get to see it until some time in 2016, likely so it can get extra attention by playing at a few more festivals. Maybe it will even turn up at Horrorthon Ireland in 2015! More release date news when we have it.