“A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.”
OK… I wanted to do a review of this last night directly after I watched it, but I thought I would wait overnight, let the film sink in a bit more, and I glad I did that.
Because my opinion has not changed.
Firstly let me start with the two positives: Lead actress Anya-Taylor Joy seems to do her best, but sadly can not save this film from it’s obvious downfalls.
Also, there’s animals in this film, and everyone loves animals, right? (even if they do die, which is horrible!)
Now with the positives out of the way, here’s the long list of negatives.
This film dragged on much longer than it should have, it could have been a short film and told the same story perhaps better!
The acting of the rest of the cast was incredibly atrocious, some the worst I’ve seen in a “major” film in some time. Special mention must be given to Harvey Scrimshaw, who plays the brother in this. His acting is especially bad! Ralph Ineson who plays the father and is usually quite good also mumbled and grumbled his way through this like he was trying to take a shit.
This is a long one… This film seems to have taken some form of direction.inspiration from M.Night Shyamalam‘s school of directing – the whole “leading an audience on and then giving them absolutely fucking nothing” school of film-making.
This is an execution which a lot of so-called horror “directors” seem to be making the mistake of doing, and I blame M.Night Shyamalam because I don’t recall honestly ever seeing this before his films started “creating waves” and aggravation.
This is the type of film that is killing the horror genre of this decade (and most likely the following one if this trend of film-making continues). People seem to be divided by this style of “show something, tell something completely different”. Some consider it “great twists”, and others (like me) feel completely fucking ripped off, lied to and ruined by the end of the film.
I wanted my 90 minutes back by the end of this film (something that realiscially will never happen, I understand this), and it left me wondering why I put myself through this, and why people lie about these films, continuing to state that they’re “masterpieces” and “the scariest film ever!”.
This (like Shitamalam’s films) is not horror at all, this particular abortion of a film was actually best described as a “family drama” about loss, and perhaps with a witch in it, perhaps not, perhaps it was just a goat. Who knows?
Director surely doesn’t, this guy could not make up his fucking mind which direction he wanted his own film to go in, and (I hate to see it) , but even Shyamalam is not that stupid (he at least has a business mind, knows how to rope people in just to punch them in the face and laugh at them).
The dialogue in this film (although very accurate to the time it was set), was badly delivered, mumbled in most cases, and make fuck-all sense. I did myself the favor (and perhaps fried my brain in the process) of watching again this morning with subtitles on to perhaps allow me to feel engrossed (see, I am FAIR!), but it made the film none the less stupid.
The “director” of this particular shit-fest is Robert Eggers (be wary people of anything else he brings out), who is actually a production designer by trade, this being his very first feature film. What a way to start an amazing career, Robert – good job, people will surely be waiting with their hands in their wallet to see what you can lie to us about next, I am sure.
This may sound very harsh, but it is my opinion, and I believe it is also the opinion probably of others from my school of films, coming from the 70s, early 80’s horror genres, where things were different.
There is hope for out future though – check out the reviews for Starry Eyes, along with We Are Still Here, both directed by STRONG directors who know how to direct, write, and pick the right kind of actors for their films.
please do not put yourself through this film, avoid it at all costs.
1 out of 10 – It only gets the “1” for the acting of Anya-Taylor Joy, and the cute goats, horse, and poor dog.