It’s always exciting to see the latest work from a beloved director, or to watch a great actor return to a classic role. But one of the most underrated pleasures of going to the movies is discovery; watching an actor you’d never heard of before surprise you with their incredible range or charisma, or realizing, in real time, that you’re witnessing the work of a major new artist. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
Halloween isn’t for several months (though couldn’t it be said that Halloween is more of a state of mind, and lives inside us all year long?), but there’s no wrong time in the moviegoing calendar for a blood-curdling horror story. Odd as it may be for the new spine-tingler The Witch to go into wide release a few days after Valentine’s Day, the February 19 debut shouldn’t deter anyone from checking out this supremely creepy, precisely controlled work of tension and fear. Presiding studio A24 has thrown their considerable weight behind a clever ad campaign for what they hope will be a Blair Witch-style breakout hit, with depictions of Ted Cruz as the truest form of evil and a Snapchat account launching the star-bound career of Black Phillip, the film’s demonic goat.
One of the most talked about films of 2015 hasn’t even hit theaters yet — Robert Eggers’ The Witch blew audiences away at Sundance, but you probably won’t get a chance to find out why until much later this year. In the meantime, the director has lined up another new project: a remake of F.W. Murnau’s silent 1922 horror film Nosferatu.