Official Tagline: In 1630 New England, panic and despair envelops a farmer (Ralph Ineson), his wife (Kate Dickie) and four of their children when youngest son Samuel suddenly vanishes. The family blames Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), the oldest daughter who was watching the boy at the time of his disappearance. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, twin siblings Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson) suspect Thomasin of witchcraft, testing the clan’s faith, loyalty and love to one another.

Written by: Robert Eggers
Directed by: Robert Eggers

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw

“Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”
The Witch from first time director, Robert Eggers is an impressive debut. I look forward to his future film work. As you may have noticed from some of my previous movie reviews, I am very skeptical of movies that have the same person doing the writing and directing, they usually fail, but here with The Witch, writer / director, Eggars does a very nice job balancing the story and creating an eerie, foreboding atmosphere that in other hands may have fallen short.
From the first shot of the film to the final scene, there is a constant sense of dread. It is difficult to keep tension and suspense running throughout a film, but the actors and director capture the right notes that pull you into this story, almost dreading what may come. The Cinematography by Jarin Blaschke adds to the tension and suspense. The bleak countryside, the dark forbidden woods and even the interior candle light scenes pull your interest to the characters and what may lie just out of sight.
The actors do a very good job portraying these simple people caught in an unworldly web of deceit, repressed desires and dark magic. Ralph Ineson as William, the religious, but prideful father whose world crumbles, is pitch perfect. Young Harvey Scrimshaw is Caleb, the eldest son trying to please his parents and come to grips with the strict religious teaching of his father and the isolated land they now live. The main character in The Witch is Thomasin, the eldest daughter, played by model turned actor Anya Taylor-Joy and after seeing this film you hope to see her in more films to come. Taylor-Joy is fantastic as the dutiful daughter blamed for the disappearance of infant son Samuel and later for all of the strange events that beset this frontier family.
I’m not going to go into the plot or story. This is the kind of film that the less you know going in, the better. Just be aware that you are in for a creepy, scary, tension filled story of psychological horror and dark evil. I do want to warn you that the film has some dark screen transitions near the end of the film. When I viewed the film, a few people got up and walked out thinking the film was over and they missed a big reveal, so be sure the movie is over before you leave.If you like horror that makes you think and fills the screen with tension and dread, then see the dark magic of The Witch .

Screen Writer Ink
Fade In Is Just The Beginning

Movie Review: The Witch
If you like horror that makes you think and fills the screen with tension and dread, then see the dark magic of The Witch .
83%Overall Score

About The Author


John Morgan Risner

John has been featured in several magazines and television programs including Great Day Live and ABC News with Diane Sawyer, talking about screenwriting, movie making, the James Bond films and the Oscar nominations. John is also a film historian, specializing in horror films and is an expert on the James Bond films and novels.

John Morgan Risner is available for speaking engagements and seminars for writing groups,workshops and retreats, comic and movie conventions, and of course screenwriting and film festivals. Please send an email to for rates and scheduling.

In his role as senior story analysis and head writer at Screen Writer Ink, John has over ten years as a Screenwriter, Screenplay Analysis, Story Consultant , Writing Mentor and is a Screenwriting Instructor at two major universities. This experience combined with his Degree in Screenwriting and Film Production, plus experience as a producer, director and actor, makes John uniquely qualified to analyze stories and screenplays to provide guidance to writers and producers looking to create high quality marketable novels and screenplays .

The expert staff at Screen Writer Ink not only provides writing and mentor services to writers, but also manuscript analysis and editing and full screenplay analysis and coverage. Screen Writer Ink is available to producers and production companies for rewriting assignments, script doctoring and complete screenplay creation.

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