The Witch | DVD review - Something wicked this way comes in Puritan New England

Anya Taylor-Joy The Witch
Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin in The Witch

Superstition and the supernatural tear apart a Puritan family in 1630 New England in first-time director Robert Eggers' terrific horror film.

Anya Taylor-Joy The Witch

Blurring psychological and supernatural chills to spine-tingling effect, terrific horror movie The Witch finds a Puritan settler family tearing itself apart in 1630 New England, gripped by suspicion and paranoia after their baby goes missing from the homestead they have hacked out of the wilderness. Is a witch to blame?

A very striking debut for writer-director Robert Eggers, who keeps us enthralled with his film’s mix of folktale eeriness and period authenticity. His cast deliver tremendous performances, with Anya Taylor-Joy particularly impressive as the 15-year-old girl who is blamed by her parents (veteran British actors Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie) for her brother’s disappearance.

Certificate 15. Runtime 89 mins. Director Robert Eggers

The Witch is released on Blu-ray & DVD on 18th July, courtesy of Universal Pictures UK.

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Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.