ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Witch (2016)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Robert Eggers

Starring:
Anya Taylor-Joy/Thomasin
Ralph Ineson/William
Harvey Scrimshaw/Caleb
Kate Dickie/Katherine
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
In the 17th century, a Puritan family move out of their New England village to go live in the wilderness in the name of being closer to God. Alas they wind up moving closer to the devil by way of a Witch that haunts the nearby woods. Shit goes to shit from there on end…
THE LOWDOWN

I'm still scratching my head about THE WITCH. Not that I didn’t understand it but more baffled as to WHY I didn’t fall in complete love with it or/and why I wasn't affected by it like most of my horror loving pals were. Much like many of you, I was bowled over when I saw the first trailer for the film, the look, the tone, the subject matter; all up my alley. Then the reviews started pouring in i.e. everybody getting in line to blow this black goat till Kingdom Cum (our very own Eric W gave it a 9 on 10). So after that, I didn’t need to read or see anything else, I was IN and just waited for its release. I finally saw it yesterday (After a flat tire stopped me from seeing it on Thursday…Satan was that your doing you cock knocker?) and I came out of the theatre… underwhelmed. I can’t believe the flick didn’t own me signed, sealed, delivered! Let me figure out via this drivel.

One thing is for certain, first time director Robert Eggers’ past as a costume, set, and production designer definitely showed here as the attention to detail in terms of EVERYTHING would make Guillermo del Toro blush. Talk about authentic! I truly felt like I was in the 17th century and for that alone the film should be applauded. Speaking of Eggers, his visual style (well backed by a talented DP) has to be praised. It echoed the Masters (like Kubrick) in execution (long takes, inventive shot compositions, powerful use of static shots and silence) and the man knew how to evoke anxiety out of me that's for sure! Now a film of this ilk wouldn’t have worked without a ROCK SOLID cast and this one definitely had that in its back-pocket. Much like the production designs, the thespians (yes big word for Arrow there) on hand sold the period by way of their grounded and visceral performances and also their credible accents. Ralph Ineson was intense and magnetic as the struggling father, Kate Dickie was convincing as the mother who keeps having her kids taken away from her while Anya Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw often stole the show as the two older siblings coming to terms with Satan’s endless sucker punches. The family unit was mucho convincing, the chemistry was earnest hence I gravitated towards them and have a shite – they were the main strength of the film for me.

Add to all that a delicious slow burn yet always gripping pace (I love those), a manic and unnerving score by Mark Korven and a use of animals (damn you “Black Phillip”) that somewhat got under my skin and you get a strong psychological horror film, one that was more in line with THE SHINING's M.O. than say something like POLTERGEIST. On that, two things stopped me from LOVING THE WITCH as much as everybody else did. 1- I wish they had subtitles at the theaters. The old school dialogue/accent plus my “a bit weaker” than the norm hearing resulted in me only understanding 50% of what people were saying. I missed so much info! I’m not sure if understanding every line would make my sit down more fulfilling but it pisses me off to have to judge the film when I didn’t get ALL OF IT uploaded in the grey matter, know what I’m saying? And 2- Every single time something horrific would happen start to happen, the flick would cut it too short. It was maddening! You got me hooked in; the macabre begins to seep out and then…. BOOM we’re out of there to something else! Personally I found that very frustrating and it lessened the impact of the whole for me. I didn't find the film scary, worse yet, I didn't find it as unsettling (which was this one's game) as I should have either.

So after mulling on it and writing this crap I can safely say: I enjoyed THE WITCH but I'd have to see it again with subtitles to make a 100% fair assessment. So expect that this so called review may change by the end of this year. But hey who gives a bleep what I think! Go see it for yourself, come back here and spit your bullets below in our comment section! Get to it you son of witches!

GORE
We have blood, cuts, stabbings and chunks. The bulk of the film implied its violence as opposed to showing it.
T & A
That Witch should hit the gym now that was one FLABBY ASS! We get varied T, A and bush too!
BOTTOM LINE
THE WITCH was a well written, expertly acted and confidently directed exercise in DREAD, one that also impressed when it came to its attention to details and faithfulness to the era in which it took place. I might have gotten more out of it if A- I would have understood what the characters were yapping about more than half the time (subtitles were needed on this one for this jerk) and B- if the flick would have eased down on the cock teasing with its "too swift" horror scenarios. I know I'm in the minority, but what can I say, the flick simply didn't affect me much. On that; in a perfect world I would get to wrangle this one again before stabbing my verdict on virtual paper, alas I don’t have that luxury. So for now it's a 7 on 10. That could change down the road though...
BULL'S EYE
Stephen King has said in the media that the film "terrified" him. I wish it had done that for me!

Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie both are both Game of Thrones alumni.
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+0
3:01AM on 02/21/2016

Overhyped.

After all of the talk, I was let down too. If this film was sold as a drama, I probably would've found it scary. But I had such high expectations going in. People claiming that the film was creepy and disturbing, I've seen horror films that pact more of a punch than this. I did admire the production value and acting, but beyond that this film was boring. Overhyped.
After all of the talk, I was let down too. If this film was sold as a drama, I probably would've found it scary. But I had such high expectations going in. People claiming that the film was creepy and disturbing, I've seen horror films that pact more of a punch than this. I did admire the production value and acting, but beyond that this film was boring. Overhyped.
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9:39PM on 02/20/2016

I am in the same boat as Arrow

It was a well made film and very authentic, with tremendous acting, but I just was not scared by it. I was very underwhelmed as well, given the hype and the fantastic reviews. I 100% agree with Arrow that the flick cut away too quick on the horrific parts and did not develop it and let it stick as much as I wanted it to. I will also say that, yeah, it was kind of boring for the first hour... And I have no problem with slow burners!! Very disappointing for me.
It was a well made film and very authentic, with tremendous acting, but I just was not scared by it. I was very underwhelmed as well, given the hype and the fantastic reviews. I 100% agree with Arrow that the flick cut away too quick on the horrific parts and did not develop it and let it stick as much as I wanted it to. I will also say that, yeah, it was kind of boring for the first hour... And I have no problem with slow burners!! Very disappointing for me.
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4:34PM on 02/20/2016
I've seen a lot of mainstream positive reviews on this film (Time Magazine, etc) and had a feeling all the hype was too good to be true. Arrow calls it like he sees it, that's one of the reasons why we love him! I certainly will give this a whirl at some point, but will probably wait for the Blu Ray.
I've seen a lot of mainstream positive reviews on this film (Time Magazine, etc) and had a feeling all the hype was too good to be true. Arrow calls it like he sees it, that's one of the reasons why we love him! I certainly will give this a whirl at some point, but will probably wait for the Blu Ray.
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-1
3:40PM on 02/20/2016
It was stupid and boring.
It was stupid and boring.
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+0
10:59AM on 02/20/2016

A great film.... An OK horror movie

This was beautifully filmed and well acted. I liked the story and feel of the film... I love horror films and I may have been a bit over excited for this one.. But I fault the trailer which had quotes like "one of the most disturbing films" and "it's like watching something that should not be seen" So I got myself psyched up for something that this film was not. Don't get me wrong it's dark and has a feeling of dread but obviously some of the glowing reviews about the intensity of this film
This was beautifully filmed and well acted. I liked the story and feel of the film... I love horror films and I may have been a bit over excited for this one.. But I fault the trailer which had quotes like "one of the most disturbing films" and "it's like watching something that should not be seen" So I got myself psyched up for something that this film was not. Don't get me wrong it's dark and has a feeling of dread but obviously some of the glowing reviews about the intensity of this film
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10:45AM on 02/20/2016

About that Stephen King quote

Not enough fiber in the morning terrifies him these days so take it whatever he says about movies with a big grain of salt! Lol. Going to see this today, let's see what happens.
Not enough fiber in the morning terrifies him these days so take it whatever he says about movies with a big grain of salt! Lol. Going to see this today, let's see what happens.
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