Director: Robert Eggers
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw
Scare Meter: 8/10
Scare Tactics: isolation, the forest, weird occult stuff
IMDb Plot Summary: "A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession."
A year after the one-two punch that It Follows and The Babadook served horror fans, a quieter but no less sinister masterpiece unfurled in some early film festivals like Sundance and never let go of a public consciousness that was hungry for more intelligent and subtle horror. The setting (1630s New England) not only is inherently creepy because of the historical context of that century (plagues, religious persecution, witch trials, etc.) but also lends the film an almost disconcerting authenticity (the dialogue can be quite difficult to follow) that nevertheless gives strength to how the diabolical force of nature (and the supernatural) attacks human faith. Like Antichrist and The Blair Witch Project before it, it portrays the forest as a consuming force of evil, but in much more insidious ways. The technical quality is topnotch, as are the performances by all four principal actors, especially Harvey Scrimshaw as Caleb. Truly one of the absolute best horror films in the last 10 years.