‘The Witch’ entertains with suspense, foreshadowing

by JENNY GARZA/Entertainment Editor

Evil is coming for you.

This was a reality for one puritan family in the 17th century.

“The Witch” follows a Puritan Christian family who were asked to leave the plantation they lived on. The family includes the father, William (Ralph Ineson), mother, Katherine (Kate Dickie), daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), the eldest, Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), the eldest son, twins Mercy (Elle Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson), and  the baby, Samuel.

The family is exiled, and they find a little piece of land beside a forest of trees.

The family begins building a new life there, growing crops, and raising animals.Suddenly everything changes.

Thomasin is playing peek-a-boo with Samuel one day by the forest. When she opens her eyes one last time, the baby is gone and only his blanket is left.

The scene goes dark, and the back of a naked older lady soon appears and suspenseful music begins playing in the background. Samuel is seen on a table of sorts, with the woman standing over him with a knife. Then it cuts to another scene where the woman is bathing in his blood.  The witch rides off into the moonlight on a broom while dreary, suspenseful music plays.

The family begins looking for him, but they know that he is not alive and that they should stop looking for him.

The family crops begin to dwindle. William knows that he must begin hunting for animals to be able to stretch their food for the winter.

He tells Caleb that they must go into the woods to find food and not to tell his mother, because they would not want to upset her anymore.

Katherine is distraught, crying and praying to God constantly. While walking through the woods, William and Caleb reset traps they had set before. While making their way out, they find a big rabbit with gold eyes. When William takes a shot at it, the gun misfires and it injures his face. The rabbit is lost to them, so they return home without any meat.

When they return home, they see that the twins are playing with the black goat named Black Philip and singing an eerie rhyme. Katherine begins to argue with William that he should not take Caleb with him into the forest, but Caleb saves his father by telling her that they went looking for apples because it had been so long since he had any.

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Later that night, the children are all lying in bed when their parents begin discussing what to do with Thomasin, because they will not be able to feed all the children.  Since she is the eldest, she must be sent to another household to learn domestics skills. Thomasin and Caleb don’t like this idea, and at first Caleb decides to go out into the woods to find food for them so Thomasin will not have to leave.

Thomasin does not let him go by himself. They are walking through the woods when Caleb sees the same rabbit that he and his father had tried to shoot before. Thomasin tells him to leave it alone, but Caleb begins chasing after the rabbit anyway. With all the commotion, Thomasin is thrown off the horse and knocked out.

When she comes to, Caleb is nowhere to be seen or heard. She begins calling for him,  and finally she gets really scared and begins calling everyone’s name. In a different part of the woods, Caleb is calling for her and his father. He comes up to a house in the woods, and a beautiful woman walks out of the house and tries to seduce him. Music begins to play, and then a loud noise is made when she grabs ahold of him and kisses him as the scene turns black.

Thomasin returns to their home alone, and her parents begin to look for Caleb, but with no luck. They are not able to find him. Hours go by, and Thomasin is sent to feed the animals when she sees her brother very naked in front of the animals and very loopy at that.

The movie is a mysterious horror film that allowed for me to question its true plot. It allowed for me to sympathize with the characters, from William, who had so much pride, to Caleb, who lusted, Katherine who lost her baby, and Thomasin, who seemed to be a type of Cinderella.

I have to say I had some characters who I really could not stand.  The twins, even before everything started happening, seemed like they were after Thomasin and were making her life miserable, especially after losing Samuel. Thomasin did not help herself out at all, because she led them to believe that she was a witch.

This movie also showed the type of faith this family had, and how they would pray and what they thought would happen. In a way, I believe that each of the characters represented the seven deadly sins.

Also, the way they shot this film was foreshadowing the whole film. From the very beginning, you always suspected that something would happen. You just didn’t know what. It wasn’t as terrifying as I had first thought it might be when walking in, but it did keep me entertained and wondering what was happening to this family to cause them to go through all they had been through before.

The only thing I did not enjoy in the film was the ending. I believe they did not explain it correctly, so the audience did not know what was happening. The audience only sees what had happened before. When it came to the ending, it confused me, which kind of ruined it for me.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Author: Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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