I had been hearing for a very long time that I needed to see the movie The VVitch because it was one of the scariest horror movies ever. Typically, when anyone says that to me I immediately doubt them and write the movie off forever. Sounds pretty stubborn right? Well, I’ve been burned before. A lot. Especially with the studio A24 that put out this train wreck of a film. I can’t say it wasn’t well acted or directed but was it scary? Not in the slightest. I also really don’t know where anyone is getting this idea that it’s a horror film. It’s really depressing, sad, and there are implications of horrific things happening but not actual horror I suppose. Here I will be getting into an area that will be considered as spoiler territory so if you have not seen this movie and intend to then stop reading now. Also, this is just my opinion and I don’t think I’m right or wrong, ultimately. If you did like this movie or thought it was seriously terrifying I’d love to hear why. Anyway, here we go.
The movie starts with this family being outcast from their city/plantation or whatever because it seems that the family has a different idea of what being Christian is than what the town does. It’s not very clear but it seems the father thinks they are all living in sin or something and their family can do better alone in the middle of nowhere. This is a period piece so I guess like 1400s or so. The family sets off with all they have (which apparently fits in one little cart) and just go wherever because they are banished now.
There must have been a time lapse of some sort that they didn’t show because within the next few shots you see they have a cabin and a barn of some sort. A few goats and they are growing corn (badly). The main character/girl (Thomasin) is the oldest, then she has a younger brother named Caleb (who they imply looks at her tits in a sexual way or something) I dunno it was weird. Then there’s the “twins” Mercy and something else I don’t remember the boy’s name. Maybe it was Joseph. Then they also have a baby name Samuel and a dog and a horse.
There is a scene where Thomasin is tasked with watching baby Sam and she looks away from him for like three seconds and he’s abducted. Then there is a montage of scenes of some old looking witch lady and the implication that she cut off his…genitals and then mashed him up and rubbed his blood all over her body and I guess broom? Though a lot of this looked like pomegranate seeds and not blood but that is just my opinion. Of course, Thomasin is blamed for this and there’s some weird, vague talk about it being a wolf that took the baby (and maybe a witch) and also not to go into the forest. You know, the forest that they clearly chose to surround themselves with when they also decided to build a farm. I don’t get that either.
At some point the father and son go out hunting in the woods that they aren’t supposed to go into and they see a rabbit cause the dog is barking at it but the dad is an idiot and shoots at it and misses. I think the rabbit is the witch or a familiar for the witch or something but that’s never explained. Meanwhile, back at the farm, the weird annoying twins keep singing this song about one of the goats (Black Phillip) that seems vaguely like he is Satan or something. There’s a point where Thomasin is out with Caleb talking and the twins come over to bother them and she lies and says she’s a witch and if they don’t go away or shut up or whatever she’ll put a spell on them and they run off screaming.
Within the next day or so, Caleb decides to steal the horse they have to go hunting in the woods they aren’t supposed to go into because they are all starving. Thomasin catches him and says that if he doesn’t take her she’s going to scream and tell her father. They go out together with the dog. The rabbit thing appears again, the horse gets spooked, Thomasin and Caleb get separated. Finally, the father finds Thomasin but not Caleb. He comes stumbling back some time later but he’s cursed or something. This is after a scene where a much older woman seduces him. Like seriously this kid is 10 or something? A very much older woman is kissing him and stuff and it’s just weird. Yeah I know she’s supposed to be the witch but whatever.
When Caleb gets back in the house he’s basically in some kind of coma or something, has a fever is sick, whatever. The twins start to say Thomasin took him out to the woods to do it. Thomasin blames the twins and starts talking about Black Phillip (the goat) and how the twins talk to him. Caleb pukes up an apple then dies. The mother blames Thomasin because the twins start screaming and go catatonic or whatever. The father has a talk with Thomasin and he thinks the twins are evil. This leads to him locking them all into the goat house with the goats for the night. Then, what do you know, I guess Black Philip is evil? He kills the dad and also guess the twins are dead. The mom thinks Thomasin did it and starts to choke her. Thomasin kills her mother. Then later that night she goes and talks to Black Philip who is literally Satan. She signs her name in his book and he takes her to some naked witch meeting in the forest where all the witches are flying around. The end.
Like…I really don’t get what the point of this was, or where the horror was. I mean the type of horror where you’d be scared. I agree it’s horrific that these people were living this lifestyle. I agree it’s horrific a baby got killed. I agree the weird thing that happened to Caleb was at very least creepy. The fact that these people were religious zealots who based everything on sin, Christ, and whatever else made me not like any of them. Then they falsely accuse the daughter so hard of being a witch that ironically by the end she becomes a witch? Which seems like a happy ending for her because her life absolute shit until that point.
Why is this movie branded, advertised, and sold as horror? Who watched this and legitimately got scared? Had nightmares? Yes, the cinematography was great, the acting was great, the scenery was great, the scoring was great, the effects were…mostly okay but a horror movie? This is way more of a historical fiction movie with some “magic” thrown in at the last minute so they could call themselves horror. I swear I need to stop watching movies I already assume are going to be bad to start with because I knew this one could not be as scary as people said. Has it become that easy to scare people these days or am I just super out of touch with what horror is? This is the exact reason I refuse to watch Hereditary by the way, the studio that put it out was A24. They also did the movie It Comes At Night which was so awful I’d rather jam a pen into my eye than have to ever see it again. This studio seems to be really good at tricking people into thinking they made good horror movies but when you actually sit down to watch them, they are nothing other than random filler where nothing freaking happens. Is anyone else with me on this?