Parents' Guide to

The Witch

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Intense, fascinating Puritan horror tale has blood and gore.

Movie R 2016 92 minutes
The Witch Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 17+

Dark and suspenseful

Dark and very brutal. While it is smart, it doesn't shy away from any topic at all. Whether it's nudity, violence, and religion, it doesn't hold back. A very suspenseful film that is not for kids or teens.
age 17+

Brilliant and dark but definitely not for kids

This film is a masterpiece but it’s clearly meant for adults. The story is rich and complex and dwells with religion and folklore. It’s a very symbolic piece about womanhood and not for everyone: it also requires some intellectual baggage to fully understand it. The characters also speak Old English to create a more realist atmosphere. Young teenagers won’t understand what it’s about.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12 ):
Kids say (35 ):

This exceptionally intelligent, atmospheric horror movie more closely recalls Ingmar Bergman than Wes Craven, as it centers on human foibles as well as dealing with a hint of the supernatural. In his feature debut, director Robert Eggers goes the extra mile to create authentic-sounding dialogue for the early 17th century, as well as costumes and sets, not to mention behaviors and beliefs. Even Mark Korven's eerie music sounds like something from another time or world.

Weirdly, THE WITCH isn't quite as flat-out scary as it might seem, despite the shocking "peek a boo" moment heavily used to promote it. It's more fascinating and transporting as we navigate this seemingly primitive world that truly believes in witches. Eggers refrains from any kind of modern commentary as the movie immerses us in a gloomy, harsh existence, challenging us to find parallels -- and trace pathways -- to our current life. Primal and challenging, it could someday stand with the horror classics.

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