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The Horror of Religion in ‘The Witch’

Written by on March 22, 2016 

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We’re only about three months into the year, but easily one of the best films of 2016 thus far is Robert Eggers‘ distinctive horror feature The Witch. I shared my praise for it back at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, and we’ve talked to the director as well as look at the history of witchcraft in cinema. Now for those looking to diver deeper into its themes, we have a great new video essay.

Coming from Ryan Hollinger and clocking in at around 12 minutes, it’s a fascinating look at the horror of religion embedded throughout the film. In bringing up specific verses from the Bible and the ideals of Puritan Christianity, he explores how the film echoes the Adam and Eve story and how sin and moral corruption leads to the downfall of our characters.

“Fundamentally, The Witch is a period drama that should not be misconceived as a traditional modern horror. The Witch embeds a very unorthodox and cryptic series of themes surrounding the paranoia or horror of religion in seventeenth-century New England,” Hollinger states. Throughout the video, it’s quite remarkable to see how historically accurate Eggers is in weaving his effective story, making it all that more unsettling.

Check out the video essay below, as well as our in-depth discussion if you missed it. It goes without saying that spoilers abound.

The Witch is now in theaters and hits Blu-ray on May 17th.


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