I'd like to keep this short, sweet, and to the very sharp point.
I loved THE VVITCH. Loved it.
What happens when a family is asked to leave their township and moves a day away into the woods of New England 1630?
Failing crops. Family tragedy. Darkness.
This film reminded me of HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, THE INNKEEPERS and IT FOLLOWS. A slow burning film with so much to take in. Sadly, the marketing department tried to sell this film as some sort of jump-scare filled roller coaster horror ride, but it's so much more.
The survival issues that the family has to face are horrific enough. Issues of faith and loss of faith, having food to eat, and figuring out just what they are willing to give up when the situation gets dire - all of these are amazing to watch in and of themselves and would have made an interesting film by themselves.
However, the addition of this other worldly, supernatural element - that may or may not be there, really... That really adds a whole other level of grim to this tale.
Evidently, the film was shot with only the use of candle, fire, or daylight with no additional lighting used and it really shows. It never reaches that, "Wait...I can't see!" moment, but it always seems gray and sad and grim. Loved that.
The film really gave me the creeps, to be honest. In that "in the bones" way. I was washing dishes and - even though I heard nothing and saw nothing - I still had this feeling that something was outside of the window...out in the dark...just watching. THAT was my take away with this movie. You need to break out of the in your face horror standard and really put yourself into the shoes of a family with no electric light on the brink of starvation who are miles away from anyone with something looming in their world that means them all harm.
THAT...is horrifying to me.
Now, the "bad part". Oh, not bad for me, but bad for some.
This film isn't your "direct" horror. There are no blood soaked, nude or masked entities with knives. There are no monsters. No openly, overly underscored jump and BOO! moments in here. And, I loved that. You simply watch as this religious family's dynamic changes and stare in horror as things get...really bad. To me, that was wondrous and it left me with this sense of dread and true, to the bone horror that I loved. FAR more scary that say a SAW or GREEN INFERNO. It hit home for me as a Father as well.
I've also heard that people had a hard time with the dialogue seeing as it's in proper, 1630s style. I didn't have an issue with it, but if people do, they can always turn on subtitles. It really wasn't that challenging.
My one regret is that I didn't watch this in the winter time - in the cold and the dark. I'll be revisiting this film around that season for sure.
Check out THE VVITCH if you have not already. It's a grand film.