The Witch

The Witch ★★★★½

This “New England folk tale” from writer/director Robert Eggers was this spring’s the horror movie to see – and the source of some rather vehement disagreements among fans of current horror, as this is less a film of cheap, clanging jump-scares than general unease and distress. A Puritan family encounters a spectacular streak of bad luck; between the abductions, illness, bad crops, and sick animals, you might wonder if they are, as their mother comes to believe, “damned.” Eggers patiently threads his needle with themes of faith, family, and fear (of Satan, of goats, of feminism), and sews it up into a mélange of unsettling mood and unshakable images; it’s a movie that drifts along, haunting yet manageable, and then it clobbers you.