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The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (2015)

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A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.

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308 ( 16)
32 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Thomasin
...
William
...
Katherine
...
Caleb
Ellie Grainger ...
Mercy
Lucas Dawson ...
Jonas
...
Governor
Bathsheba Garnett ...
...
...
Black Phillip (voice) (as Wahab Chaudhry)
Axtun Henry Dube ...
Samuel
Athan Conrad Dube ...
Samuel
...
Lead Coven Witch (as Vivien Moore)
Karen Kaeja ...
Coven Witch
Brandy Leary ...
Coven Witch
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Storyline

New England, 1630: William and Katherine try to lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. 'The Witch' is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own sins, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A New-England Folktale See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content and graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

19 February 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Witch  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,800,230 (USA) (19 February 2016)

Gross:

$25,138,292 (USA) (20 May 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anya Taylor-Joy was the first audition tape that Robert Eggers saw. See more »

Goofs

One mistake in the dialogue is the incorrect usage of the personal pronouns "Thou" and "You". During the 17th century, "You" was reserved for formal situations, and when one was addressing someone of higher status/rank. "Thou", on the other hand, was used in personal/informal settings and between peers and close relations (similar to French Tu vs. Vous). Throughout the film, the characters use thou and you interchangeably, however a close-knit family such as theirs would not have likely addressed each other with the formal "You". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
William: [before the court] What went we out into this wilderness to find? Leaving our country, kindred, our fathers houses? We have travailed a vast ocean. For what? For what?
Governor: We must ask thee to be silent!
William: Was it not for the pure and faithful dispensation of the Gospels, and the Kingdom of God?
Old Slater: No More! We are *your* judges, and not you ours!
William: I cannot be judged by false Christians, for I have done nothing, save preach Christ's true Gospel.
Governor: Must you continue to dishonor the laws of the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Half in the Bag: Blair Witch and Don't Breathe (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Summary:
2 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a story set in the early colonial period of New England. It has the authenticity of a well-researched historical drama, up to and including dialogue delivered in a period accent and vocabulary (softened a bit so that it's easy to understand). Instead of drawing on historical events, though, it draws on historical folklore -- it's the story of witchcraft afflicting a family, such as might have been told at the time.

The characters are a very believable, ordinary family, with the sorts of tensions and problems you'd expect from people living a hard and substantially isolated life after being exiled from the local colonial town. They also have period Calvinist attitudes, and the storytelling doesn't present an outsider's view of this or offer a modern commentary, but instead it just displays these attitudes and tells a story from the characters' standpoint.

Their reliance on period folklore means that it doesn't strictly follow modern horror movie tropes, either. It has the slow build of a modern psychological horror/thriller as well as the standard formula where tragedies start from tragic flaws, but the traditions it's drawing on depend on a Calvinist's conception of flaws, and treat witchcraft as a horrible, well-understood occurrence rather than a shocking supernatural surprise. This story applies these perspectives.

It's very well done in terms of writing, acting, and other aspects of execution, so it might have cross-over appeal to fans of horror, folklore, or straight period drama from colonial America.


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