In his review from last year's Sundance Film Festival, HitFix's own Drew McWeeny had this to say about director Robert Eggers' upcoming period horror film The Witch: “Eggers manages to create a sense of mood and dread that is so suffocating at times that it feels like we're watching something genuinely transgressive, something we should not be seeing.”
For horror fans in particular, that's a promising sentence. We are, after all, lovers of the genre for its very ability to transgress boundaries, and we're always looking out for the next film that will take us to genuinely unexpected and terrifying places. In that vein, The Witch seems destined to be this year's It Follows or The Babadook: an under-the-radar, word-of-mouth sleeper that gives us something new and compelling to chew on and introduces the world to a fresh and unique talent in the horror arena. Here's the latest trailer, which teases a cavalcade of mysterious, dread-inducing imagery that includes a goat jumping on its hind legs, a living woman lying inside an open grave and…something terrible with a baby.
Are you sufficiently creeped out? Frankly I can't think of a better distributor to handle The Witch's release than A24, which since its inception in 2012 has shown a commitment to bringing bizarre, boundary-pushing films to the screen with films like Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin and Alex Garland's Ex Machina, to name just three. I'm going in with high expectations for this one.
The Witch hits theaters on February 19.