Riding the crest of a crimson wave of goodwill following its bow at Sundance, Robert Eggers’ low-key period horror film The Witch is teetering on the edge of its anticipated release, and today A24 has summoned forth an all-new and haunting trailer.
Favoring old-school scares over modern (and arguably cheap) thrills, Eggers’ feature is situated in the New England wilderness of 1630, diving headfirst into themes of witchcraft and black magic during a time when religious cults ran amok. Reining in the focus to a sole rural family, The Witch centers on a colonial farmer trying to make ends meet after being ousted from the church. Uprooting from their home to a barren crop of land, one which just so happens to be situated on the edge of cursed woodland, it isn’t long before the family encounter a string of strange occurrences, from erratic farm animals (Black Phillip, for instance) to a malevolent spirit.
Written and directed by Eggers, The Witch has caught the eye of horror fans for its intimate approach to the genre, allowing tension and fear to bubble beneath the surface without the need for lavish CG effects, emotions amplified by the mass hysteria that brewed in the God-fearing New England society of the time. Less is more, in a nutshell. Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson round out the cast.
Poised to loom into theaters on February 19, you can get the jump on The Witch by checking out our own thoughts coming out of Fantastic Fest 2015.
Upon threat of banishment by the church, an English farmer leaves his colonial plantation, relocating his wife and five children to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest – within which lurks an unknown evil. Strange and unsettling things begin to happen almost immediately – animals turn malevolent, crops fail, and one child disappears as another becomes seemingly possessed by an evil spirit.