Three years after its release, The VVitch remains to be the best horror film I’ve ever seen. (The Blair Witch Project comes in at a close second followed by The Babadook.) The cult that the film has ignited is inspiring, refreshing and, quite frankly, fucking brilliant for the witches of today.
I can remember watching the film, afraid to blink in case I might miss something. Everything that made the film – the tense music, the natural lighting, the historically accurate costumes, the on-point dialogue even the stylized VV in the title (apparently this spelling was found by the director in the Jacobean era pamphlet about witchcraft) – was done with such attention to detail, with such care and authenticity that I felt immeasurably grateful that the director Robert Eggers had given so much to the film, which in turn, gave so much to me as a viewer.
It’s a low budget horror, but, in my watching experience, all the best horror films are. (The Blair Witch Project and the Babadook were both low budget too.) While it’s extremely difficult to pick a favourite part of the film, I have to say that the end scene holds the honour. The feeling I experienced once the film was over was, I would say, close to euphoria. Though I would have been more than delighted to have had another hour in 1630 with Thomasin and her coven.
Now, before I give you the art, I thought I’d share a few pieces of trivia because we all love a bit of that! So, as I mentioned before about the stylized VV, the main reason it was used was because W wasn’t actually in common use at the time.
I’d always assumed that the goat would have been the easiest animal to work with on set, but in actual fact, it was the hare! In colonial New England, hares were genuinely thought to be magical creatures that worked in league with witches.
If you’re wondering how Eggers went about his research for the movie, he went to the New York Public Library and buried himself in everything witch-related, Puritan-related or related to early Colonial history, and did this for four years. (Part time.) Time extremely well spent, in my humble opinion.
If you would like to read some more of my VVitch content:
Intriguing Instas : The VVitch
Yuletide At Wyrd Words & Effigies : The VVitch Gift List
3 thoughts on “Art Of The VVitch”
i love how they focus on the fear here – fear of a strange land, fear of each other, fear of the unknown, fear of witches, fear of wilderness, fear of divine punishment – it’s totally saturated in fear. yeah, it’s about witches, but mostly it’s about the descent into terror when everything is unfamiliar. i wish more horror films were like this – and i wish more movies about witches explored the psychological aspect more. i loved that about the Blair Witch too, and the Babadook is my favourite horror movie of all time. i’ve never been so terrified and emotionally uncomfortable watching anything in my life. good choices!
I want to say a huge, HUGE thank you for this amazing and deeply insightful comment! ❤ Like you, I wish there were more films that explore the psychological. I watched the Babadook two years ago, and I still get scared when I think about it.
I think the wilderness aspect was key in the VVitch. i don’t think a lot of modern people get how terrifying nature was to settlers in North America. The sheer number of destructive things people did to conquer that fear. To me, that’s what makes The VVitch so powerful: it’s based on a very real phenomenon. So for the very first time since I can remember, my experience of watching that movie wasn’t about whether or not the witch was real, whether or not she was meddling in the family’s affairs, etc. It was about that fear and isolation, and how it makes everything terrifying. The witch was more of a symbol than anything, in so many ways. In the Blair Witch Project it was more about the supernatural element for me – wanting to see the witch, wanting to know more about her, etc.