The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M fans react after The Aggies win the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
The mad dash to Omaha
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 21, 2024

After Texas A&M baseball’s win over Florida sent the Aggies to their first Men’s College World Series Championship Series in program...

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Advertisement
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

New Horror Canon: The VVitch

The+VVitch+released+in+theaters+Feb.+19%2C+2016+after+premiering+at+Sundance+Film+Festival+Jan.+27%2C+2015.
Photo by via IMDB

“The VVitch” released in theaters Feb. 19, 2016 after premiering at Sundance Film Festival Jan. 27, 2015.

New Horror Canon: In honor of the month of October, film critic Joseph Ornelas looks at the most significant and influential horror films of the past ten years.
Robert Eggers’ 2015 directorial debut “The VVitch,” a haunting atmospheric folktale set in 1630s New England, brought nuance back to the mainstream American horror genre. It is unsurprising that prior to directing “The VVitch” and 2019’s “The Lighthouse,” Eggers worked as a production designer. He clearly has a strong grasp on visual storytelling and an eye for detail. His direction and composition possess a level of refinement that hadn’t existed in horror movies for a long time before its release. He brings such a strong sense of identity and purpose to the film, something that is often lacking in the first films of many directors, even the greats. If you were to watch the debuts of Scorsese or Kubrick, you would have no idea that these are the same filmmakers who would later command the camera with “Goodfellas” or “2001: A Space Odyssey.” In contrast, Eggers immediately injected his film with stunning cinematography, perfect pacing and a lean runtime that builds tension with little more than the actors’ stunning performances and the negative space of vast, uncharted, frigid woods in which unspeakable horrors reside. Seldom is such a minimal approach to filmmaking so effective.
The film follows a Puritan family who has been exiled by their small community. The family has no choice but to establish a small farm in a secluded forest. What ensues is a seemingly endless stream of satanic incidents which threaten to tear the family apart from the inside. What truly elevates the script from other horror films is the deep psychological consequences of each and every incident. The characters are each going through their own crisis, which are punctuated by their preconceived fears and distrust of each other. For example, the mother, Katherine, blames their daughter, Thomasin, for the many misfortunes that have befallen their family as she is entering into her teenage years and her blossoming femininity is perceived as a threat to the patriarchal nature of their family ecosystem.
There are meditations on the fear-mongering of religious fanaticism, as exhibited by William, the father of the group. He bears the burden of keeping his wife and children in the light of God, but the isolation of their situation feeds into his paranoia, which further exacerbates his deep fears of evil and of the forces of Satan. Thomasin becomes the scapegoat for many of the evils experienced by herself and her family, as she is experiencing her own crisis as she is growing up, learning and questioning in a world of unanswerable questions, questionable authority and unnamed, powerful forces.
The film is, therefore, successful as a potent (and surprisingly historically accurate) coming-of-age story and criticism of the very real dangers of fanaticism, be they religious or otherwise. One could write an exhaustive thesis on the many themes, masterful filmmaking and historical context of this tragically beautiful ninety-minute cinematic masterpiece. “The VVitch” is not only an outstanding horror film, it is truly a great film that transcends the genre, which is why it deserves to be revered as one of the greatest of the 2010s.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *