• Aaryika Jaipuria

The VVitch (2015) by Robert Eggers

The genres of horror and folklore, though frequently associated with each other, have never been as blatantly merged as director Robert Eggers does with The VVitch.

The film follows the downfall of a Puritan family into the madness of such folklore. After being banished from their town on charges of ‘prideful conceit’, the family attempts to set up a peaceful farm at the edge of a forest, as true Protestants. However, the sudden disappearance of the infant member of the family, Samuel, catalyses a series of inexplicable occurrences that drive the family to self-doubt. As their situation worsens, they resort to the belief that the devil is disguised within their family as the only sensible explanation. Their eldest daughter, Thomasin, bears the brunt of these accusations.

The algorithm Eggers employs for all his films makes them true spine-chilling horror classics, and The VVitch is no exception. The terrifying score made up of dissonant and jarring violent sounds, suspenseful crescendos, and weird plots are characteristic of Eggers, especially in this film.

However, what makes The VVitch truly brilliant is its unique portrayal of religion. Eggers exploits religion to give the audience a good scare, while subtly highlighting the truly bizarre facets of religion and what it may lead a person to do, as in the example of this family. This film depicts the folktales and cautionary legends of religion in a way that shows us that the absolute control it possesses is the only real source of terror.

This is an outstanding film in Hollywood's horror genre.

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