Here is a story about The Witch.

It is the creepy-as-hell story of a devoutly religious Puritan family living in isolation in Colonial America. Little by little, the family’s fears of the Devil begin to come true. Everything and everyone takes on terrifying dimensions, from the forest to the family’s goat, Black Phillip, to the kids themselves, who may be manipulated by dark forces into doing the unholy bidding of Satan. I saw this movie at Fantastic Fest last September, seated next to a little kid. I’m sitting there in my seat, scared out of my mind, and I keep looking over at the kid. He has no reaction at all, like he’s watching a boring Saturday morning cartoon. And maybe planning something.

This movie has that effect on you. It’s so scary it not only freaks you out, it makes the world around you freak you out. You don’t sleep well the night after you watch it. You definitely try to do whatever you can to avoid any long walks in the woods or chores involving farm animals. It’s a stunningly impressive debut film from Robert Eggers, who did extensive research into New England folklore, combining various accounts and stories into this movie, which plays like the ultimate 17th century witch nightmare.

The Witch, whose release date just got bumped up by a week, now opens on February 19. It’s strongly recommended, but please don’t bring any children with you when you see it (or at least don’t sit them next to me if you do).

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