Blu-ray Review: The Witch

Thomasin and her younger brother

The idea of a witch, or similar, has been present in folklore from around the world for hundreds and even thousands of years. While the familiar figure of the old crone wearing a tall pointy hate and riding a broomstick can probably be traced back to medieval and early modern Europe, it’s derived from multiple different sources. The concept of ‘witchcraft’ is closely associated with religion and persecution of anyone accused of being a practitioner can be traced back to religious texts. A terror stalks a family in The Witch.

Set in New England in the early seventeenth century. After being threatened with banishment from the church an English farmer (Ralph Ineson) takes his family to live on a remote plot of land bordering on a forest. William struggles to eke out a living from the unyielding land with his wife (Kate Dickie) and children. When a succession of strange and unsettling misfortunes occur, suspicion falls on the eldest daughter (Anya Taylor-Joy).

In many ways, the release of The Witch in 2016 heralded a new mainstream era for modern genre filmmaking. It remains a beautifully atmospheric and creepy masterpiece of period horror. The joy of writer/director Robert Eggers’ feature debut is in the piss and shit. Portraying the deprivations of early frontier life in all their bleakness. A film so well made that it holds up on repeat viewings. Relying on mystery, intrigue and tension to keep its audience on edge.

Special features:

  • Features 4K UHD and Blu-ray with bonus features on both formats
  • 4K UHD presented in Dolby Vision HDR
  • Archive audio commentary by Director Robert Eggers
  • New audio commentary by film writer and broadcaster Anna Bogutskaya
  • A Puritan Nightmare: a new interview with Robert Eggers
  • Embracing Darkness: a new interview with Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Love Thy Father: a new interview Ralph Ineson
  • A Pious Wife: a new interview with Actor Kate Dickie
  • Caleb’s Lament: a new interview with Actor Harvey Scrimshaw
  • A Primal Folktale: features interviews with Robert Eggers and cast
  • BFI London Film Festival Q&A with Robert Eggers, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson and Producer Jay Van Hoy
  • Brothers: a short film by Robert Eggers
  • Optional English subtitles for the hearing impaired

Limited Edition Contents

  • Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Peter Diamond
  • 150-page hardback book with new essays by Emerson W Baker, Daniel Bird, Anton Bitel, Charles Bramesco, Lillian Crawford, Shelagh Rowan-Legg and Anya Stanley plus stills, costume and production design gallery.

The limited edition UHD/Blu-ray edition of The Witch is released on Blu-ray by Second Sight on 25 July.

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