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The Witch (2015) - Plot Summary Poster

(2015)

Plot

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Summaries

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

  • 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 inconceivable evil.

  • In the Seventeenth Century, in New England, the farmer William and his family are banished from the Puritan plantation controlled by the church due to differences in religion principles. William leaves the spot with his wife Katherine; his teenage daughter Thomasin; his son Caleb and the twins Mercy and Jonas and settles at the edge of a forest. They build a small house and a barn and meanwhile Katherine delivers the baby Samuel. One day, Thomasin is playing with Samuel near the forest and the baby mysteriously vanishes. The family unsuccessfully seeks Sam out and Katherine becomes insane, praying all the time and mistreating and blaming her daughter for everything wrong in their lives. However, Sam was abducted and slaughtered by a witch that lives in the woods that used his blood to paint her body. William goes to the forest to hunt since the crop has failed and he confides to his son that he sold Katherine's silver goblet o buy supplies. However he is a bad hunter and misses his target. In the farm, the twins tell Thomasin that they speak to the goat Black Phillip. While having dinner, Katherine accuses Thomasin of losing her cup and William does not tell the truth. During the night, Thomasin and the children overhear her mother telling William to deliver Thomasin to work for another family. Early in the morning, Caleb, Thomasin, their dog and the family horse go to hunt in the woods. However Thomasin falls from the horse and faints, Caleb becomes lost in the woods and stumbles upon his dead dog first and upon a seductive woman later. William finds Thomasin and Katherine confronts her about Caleb's fate. When the boy returns naked and with fever, the twins accuse Thomasnin of witchcraft and she discloses that they speak to the goat, in the beginning of the tragic end of their family.

  • Banished from the bosom of their righteous pilgrim community, patriarch William and his Puritan family set out a poor farmhouse on the outskirts of a thick and dark forest, in mid-17th century New England. As the struggling family tries to settle in their new isolated homestead, before long, disaster will strike when their infant child vanishes into thin air, and shortly after, other unforeseen and grievous calamities smite the God-fearing farmers. However, is this grave situation the result of a family on the brink of a psychological breakdown or is the root of all evil the family's first-born daughter, Thomasin? Furthermore, could a malevolent dark foe, in reality, be tearing them apart?

  • In 17th century New England, William and his wife Katherine and their children move from their colonial plantation to a plot on the periphery of an ominous forest, out of fear of the church banishing him. When their elder daughter is possessed by an evil spirit, each family member's faith is tested as circumstances become more treacherous.

  • In 1630s New England, William and his family - his wife, Katherine, daughter Thomasin, son Caleb, and fraternal twins, Mercy and Jonas - are banished from a Puritan plantation over a religious dispute. They build a farm near a large, secluded forest and Katherine has a newborn child, Samuel. One day, Thomasin is playing peekaboo with Samuel when the baby abruptly disappears. It is revealed that a red-cloaked witch had stolen the unbaptized Samuel and that night kills him and uses his blood and fat to make a flying ointment..


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • The film starts with William (Ralph Ineson), the patriarch of a Puritan family, on trial in 1630s New England. He dismisses those around him as false Christians, and the others claim that he speaks ill of the word of God.

    In a flashback, William's family includes his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie), eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), twins Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson), and baby Samuel. They recently moved off their plantation in England to a small farm. Mercy and Jonas frequently play with a large black goat that they named Black Phillip.

    One afternoon, Thomasin is outside playing Peek-A-Boo with Sam. She covers her face to scare him, but when she looks down, Sam is gone. We cut to somewhere in the darkest part of the woods where a wrinkled hand strokes Sam's body, moments before the creature lowers a knife to his chest. We then see a haggard old woman pounding what appear to be Sam's remains before consuming them. The woman then slowly walks out into the woods.

    Katherine becomes distraught following Sam's disappearance. The family believes that a wolf took the baby. Caleb goes out to hunt with his father, but first he starts to notice Thomasin's breasts. Out in the woods, Caleb becomes fearful that Sam was taken because he lived in sin, making Caleb worry that he is also leading a sinful life that will lead to his doom.

    William comforts his son, and they proceed to hunt. William aims his rifle at a rabbit, but the recoil from the shot gets him in the eye, and the rabbit runs away. The two return home to an angry Katherine. Thomasin takes the blame for her father for the two of them going to hunt.

    Thomasin and Caleb are by the river gathering water. Mercy comes along and accuses Thomasin of being a witch, blaming her for Sam's disappearance. Thomasin plays along with the accusation and starts to terrify Mercy. Thomasin says she is a witch, and that she will get Mercy if she continues to bother her.

    With a lack of growth on their crops beginning to turn problematic, Thomasin and Caleb venture into the woods. The two are separated from each other. Caleb disappears and comes across a small cottage. From the doorway emerges a beautiful woman (Sarah Stephens). She lures Caleb toward him and she kisses him before grabbing his head with a haggard hand.

    Thomasin later finds Caleb outside in the rain, naked and scarred. The family becomes worried that something evil is overtaking them. Mercy and Jonas continue to accuse Thomasin of being a witch, to the point where even Katherine appears to believe it. Later, Katherine discusses with William that they should give Thomasin to another family, which she overhears. Caleb is bedridden, and the family prays for him. After a while, Caleb begins to writhe and speak some sort of prayer, while Mercy and Jonas also writhe on the ground as if they were possessed. Caleb speaks as though he accepts that he is about to meet God, and he starts to moan passionately before dying with a smile on his face.

    Thomasin runs outside to cry in despair. William starts to accuse her of evildoing that led to Caleb's death. She angrily defends herself and states that perhaps it was Mercy and Jonas that made a demonic pact with Black Phillip. William locks his three surviving children in the barn with the goats until something happens. Inside the house, Katherine tearfully confesses to William that she had an affair from which Samuel was born.

    In the barn, the kids see a pale, nude figure drinking the blood of one of the goats. The creature (a witch) turns around and cackles at Mercy and Jonas, causing them to scream. Meanwhile, Katherine appears to find Caleb sitting in a chair, holding Samuel. She approaches them and takes Sam to breastfeed him, but in reality, it is just a crow picking at Katherine's bosom.

    In the morning, the goats have been slaughtered, and Mercy and Jonas have vanished. Thomasin emerges from the barn and sees Black Phillip charge at William, impaling him with one of his horns. William grabs a hatchet and seems ready to fight, but he then drops it, allowing Black Phillip to charge at him again and knock him into a pile of logs that crushes him. Katherine comes out and continues to accuse Thomasin, blaming her for the deaths of her family members. Katherine starts to choke Thomasin, who continuously tells her mother that she loves her. Thomasin grabs a nearby blade and hacks at Katherine's face until she is dead.

    Thomasin quietly walks into a barn and dons a cloak. She later encounters Black Phillip and demands to speak to him. After a brief moment of silence, we hear the quiet voice of Phillip. He asks Thomasin what it is that she desires, and tells her what he can promise to give her. Phillip appears to take human form and walks behind Thomasin, telling her to undress. She does, and she follows him into the woods while naked. In the middle of the woods is a coven of witches, all dancing nude around a fire. The witches then start to float in the air. Thomasin embraces the darkness and begins to float high above the trees herself.

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