Horrors: A New England Folktale

Horror films are currently experiencing a renaissance. Netflix has just published their original content Bird Box along with Blumhouse Studios releasing their 2018 film, Halloween. Today, horror is ripe for the American film industry.

The 2015 film The VVitch: A New England Folktale was produced by Robert Eggers. It is set in seventeenth century New England. The film is subtitled “A New England Folktale”. This subtitle serves a warning to the audience depicting the era of the film and the consequences to being full of pride and leaving the community.

Thomasin’s father, William, original sin is his pride. The governor of the community questioned, “Must you continue to dishonor the laws of the commonwealth and the church with your prideful conceit”? William answers, “If my conscience sees it fit”.

Thomasin and her family are being tormented by supernatural forces in the woods. Throughout the film tension builds and develops an odd note of empowerment. The film begins as the Puritan family is in the process of being exiled from a settled community in the wilderness.

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The father, William, his wife Katherine, their two older children Thomasin and Caleb, two younger twins Jonas and Mercy, and baby Samuel arrived at their new home; homesteading just on the outskirts of the murky New England forest that they feared. Their plan was to start a new life here. Everything was well in the beginning. One day Thomasin was given the simple task of watching baby Samuel. As Thomasin is in the act of playing peek-a-boo with Samuel, he mysteriously vanishes within a matter of seconds.

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After events began to mount onto one another, the family became tangled in conflicts. Believing that a witch has cursed them, the entire family becomes increasingly paranoid.

The witch and her demonic partners seem to take several different forms throughout the film: a goat, a raven, a rabbit, a beautiful woman, and a disfigured crone. Everyone except for Thomasin is forced to surrender to these figures. Instead, she is targeted with suspicion from her parents and siblings, who have come to think she’s partnered with these evil forces. When Thomasin was trying to instill more fear into the twins Mercy and Jonas, she only caused her mother and father to further believe that she is joined in forces with the witches. Thomasin forcefully claimed, “I am that very witch. When I sleep my spirit slips away from my body and dances naked with The Devil. That’s how I signed his book”. Thomasin’s family is individually picked off until she is the only one who remains; after her father is horned to death by the demonic goat, Black Phillip.

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Horrors: A New England Folktale. (2021, Aug 18). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/horrors-a-new-england-folktale-essay

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