Heh, i find your comments kind of funny. Late in your review, you say:
But then earlier, you state (rather accurately, i think):
...which is exactly how you would characterize a "Lovecraftian" story.
My wife and i watched The VVitch again the other night, and it's just as effective and terrifying the second time around. Poor Caleb...
Thank you for your comments.
Just as not everything that has tentacles is Lovecraftian, not everything that is bleak and hopeless is Lovecraftian - otherwise, we could call Orwell's 1984 one of the most Lovecraftian stories of all
The plot and themes of The Witch lead down to just about as much a downer ending as it could possibly be, but I didn't find them particularly Lovecraftian, and I didn't find the antagonist witches to have much in common with Lovecraft's villains, without reading a lot more into the film than what I saw.
Perhaps if there's been some hint that the daughter was descended from the witches, or some suggestion of tragedy befalling characters for reading too deeply into things humans weren't meant to know, or some indication of an intrusion from a pre- or extra-human civilization, some whisper of the Gothic obsession with unearthed secrets or grumble of Lovecraft's dread of the Outsider and the alien within, I might have felt a connection to Lovecraft.
In the end, I could perhaps see something "Lovecraftian" about that beautiful, unearthly wilderness: I could possibly draw some comparisons to the frozen polar wastelands in "At the Mountains of Madness" and perhaps something of the Dreamlands, and I could imagine it making a gorgeous setting for a campaign based on stories by Algernon Blackwood and Lovecraft. Throw in some mysterious ruins, a portal or two into another world, strange peoples and monsters within the trees, dark and ancient legends and myths and tablets and scrolls and books of secrets to read, and I think your onto the potential for a fun CoC game.
But, to my eyes, the film still hits far more of Hawthorne's favorite themes than Lovecraft's:
Don't take my word for it, though - I'm certainly not the final authority, I've only seen The Witch once, and perhaps a second viewing might reveal something I missed. I was apparently in the minority in feeling that at least a couple of the Hellraiser films covered "Lovecraftian" ground, and I'm open to any good arguments that would change my mind about The Witch, so fire away