A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Subtly asks viewers to wonder whether believing in something is good or bad, and offers complex ideas about belief and tolerance.
Positive Role Models
No clearly positive role models, though Thomasin is complex and interesting, showing her own brand of strength and free thought within the confines of her time period and the story.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent blood and gore. Characters die, including children. Slicing with a blade. Suggestions of a kidnapped baby being ground up by witches. A crow pecks at a woman's breast. Brief guns and shooting; a gun backfires. Bloody chicken fetus on the ground. Animals sliced open. Girl thrown from horse. Man gored by a goat.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief nonsexual full-frontal female nudity. Naked witches' breasts and bottoms. Boy ogles his older sister's cleavage; he's later seen naked, but nothing sensitive is shown.
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"Hell" and "damn."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Witch, while fascinating, is very intense and has quite a bit of blood and gore. Guns and blades are briefly shown, and characters and animals are harmed and killed. A crow pecks at a woman's breast, a goat gores a man, a bloody chicken fetus is shown, and a girl is thrown from a horse. A baby is kidnapped, and it's implied that witches have ground him up. There's also full-frontal female nudity (nonsexual in nature), and witches' bare breasts and bottoms are seen. A pre-teen boy ogles his sister's cleavage. The same boy appears naked, but nothing sensitive is shown. Swearing is limited to "damn" and "hell." While the movie's slow, thoughtful nature may turn off some gorehounds, it could actually help it appeal to more thoughtful audiences as well. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.