A colonial family leaves plantation life and attempts to reap their harvest on a fledgling farm at the edge of an imposing ancient New England forest. Soon, superstition and dread set in as food grows scarce, a family member goes missing, and the children's play takes on a frenzied and menacing undercurrent. As they begin to turn on one another, the malevolent machinations of an ethereal presence from within the woods exacerbate the growing corruption of their own natures.
In his debut feature, writer/director Robert Eggers painstakingly designs an authentic re-creation of New England generations before the 1692 trials in Salem, immersing the audience in a bygone era and evoking the alluring and terrifying power of the witch myth as the timeless terror of this folk tale envelops us. Aided by a creeping camera and ominous score, the stark historical realism of The Witch creates a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an opportunistic evil. —H.Z.
Robert Eggers is a writer and director based in Brooklyn. He has staged many classics, including Hamlet, Faust, and Murnau's Nosferatu. Eggers's first short film was an adaptation of Hansel & Gretel, followed by The Tell-Tale Heart. His third short, Brothers, is a Cain and Abel story set in rural New England. Eggers is a Sundance Institute Cinereach Feature Film Fellow and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's 2014 New Faces of Independent Film.