By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Robert Eggers directorial debut in the historical film The Witch is more than haunting. To watch a Puritan family descend into madness is a spine-chiller. As an audience, most will notice why. But how many people will pick up on the fact that this movie is set before the Salem Witch-Trials? The fact the craze happened as a result of misplaced fears and due to consumption of diseased rye is a detail deserving to mention. Without this knowledge, trying to understand this film will have some folks wondering what kind of point Eggers is wishing to make.
The film certainly highlights the hysteria that occurs after William (Ralph Ineson) and his family is told to leave by the village council. After an argument over sanctuary, the entire clan departs. One detail an eagle-eyed fan of CW’s Supernatural will notice is that the Governor is played by Julian Richings (who plays Death in the television series). Could this nod be an intentional foreshadow of what’s to come?
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