The Witch (2015) (Second Sight Films Limited Deluxe Boxset)(4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Robert Eggers
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
Rated: R/Region A/1:66/4K (2160p)/Number of Discs 2
Available from Second Sight Films
New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with their five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. The Witch is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey to an inescapable evil.
I’m going to make a big statement here at the risk of sounding like I’m over-hyping something, but I feel if you look at the last ten years of horror movies that have come out the main two you’ll probably think of first is It Follows and The Witch. The later of which we are talking about here because Second Sight Films has released a limited edition 4K. This is an extremely creative and creepy movie that keeps people talking about it long after they have seen it. We sit here now four years after the original release and we still have people creeped out and full of questions regarding it. I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t seen it, but we’ll say this much, we are back in the old times and a man and his family are sort of made outcasts by the rest of the people in the area. From there things get really weird and at times very artsy as a baby comes up missing, people are getting sick, and a goat is there that may or may not just be the devil. All of that comes at you with one of the best performances you’ll find out there in Anya Taylor-Joy who plays the daughter of the family who is caught up in all the mess and strangeness around her.
Yes, The Witch is a slow-burning movie at times but it all leads to a finish I’d call very much worth the experience. The last act of this at times methodical and artsy movie is one that leaves more questions perhaps than answers, but the movie is so solid I don’t think anyone will really mind that much. It’s a damn good cinematic experience and film. The 4K release comes with lots of new stuff that you couldn’t find on the old Lionsgate 4K and the limited stuff make this worth the upgrade. Given the old school nature of the way, this movie has been shot and presented you might be shocked to learn that it does benefit from a 4K upgrade and looks pretty cool at times due to such. The atmosphere is also a big part of what makes the movie work and the upgrade in quality only helps that here. So if you’ve never seen this one before, be sure to check it out. If you are wanting to upgrade, I’d say go for it as well.
- DOLBY VISION/HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
- Archive audio commentary by Director Robert Eggers
- New audio commentary by film writer and broadcaster Anna Bogutskaya
- A Puritan Nightmare: a new interview with Robert Eggers
- Embracing Darkness: a new interview with Anya Taylor-Joy
- Love Thy Father: a new interview Ralph Ineson
- A Pious Wife: a new interview with Actor Kate Dickie
- Caleb’s Lament: a new interview with Actor Harvey Scrimshaw
- A Primal Folktale: features interviews with Robert Eggers and cast
- BFI London Film Festival Q&A with Robert Eggers, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson and Producer Jay Van Hoy
- Brothers: a short film by Robert Eggers
- Optional English subtitles for the hearing impaired
Limited Edition Contents
- Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Peter Diamond
- 150-page hardback book with new essays by Emerson Baker, Daniel Bird, Anton Bitel, Charles Bramesco, Lillian Crawford, Shelagh Rowan-Legg and Anya Stanley plus stills, costume and production design gallery.
- 6 collectors’ art cards
QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 97%