"The Witch" is not only "A New-England Folktale," as it is described in the opening titles, but legitimately looks, sounds and feels as if writer-director Robert Eggers somehow took modern film cameras back to 1630 and shot it using real-life Puritan settlers. For this reason and so much more, this is a boldly stirring feature debut, a destined-to-endure horror picture of wicked terrors both real and imagined; indeed, it is no surprise Eggers won the Best Director award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Playing out at a deliberate tempo yet transfixing in its devilishly unnerving aura, "The Witch" does nothing if not seep under one's skin and stay there.
Ousted from his plantation after clashing with the community over a desire for stricter religious reform, William (Ralph Ineson) moves his family—wife Katherine (Kate Dickie), eldest teenage daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), twins Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson), and baby Samuel—to an isolated farmstead cut off from society. With no crops able to grow during the late-fall and winter months, they face a challenging season before them. When little Samuel suddenly goes missing under Thomasin's watch, William and Katherine see it as either a test from God or punishment for their sins. Once tragedy strikes again soon thereafter, the bereaved and frightened family members begin to point the finger at each other as faith-laden hysteria and the looming threat of witchcraft overcome them.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review