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The Witch (2016) [Spoilers]

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#21 Badger

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 07:34 PM

Heh, i find your comments kind of funny. Late in your review, you say:

 

I wouldn't characterize the film as "Lovecraftian"

 

 

But then earlier, you state (rather accurately, i think):

It's not a bad film, but it's not an easy film for me to love:  it's unrelentingly bleak and pessimistic.  Expect no happy ending in this film, no ray of hope, and not even any sense that the characters deserve on any level what happens to them.  If you are really up for a film in which the universe simply does not care about what happens within it, and the victims and anything they say or do truly does not matter on any scheme grander than the occasional brief, frail moment between two characters shuddering beneath a vast and uncompromising alien wilderness and the forces of evil hiding within it, then this film should certainly deliver. 

 

 

...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...

 

-=b


Edited by Badger, 23 August 2016 - 07:35 PM.

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#22 Tony Williams

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 07:46 PM

MEGASPOILERSSSSSSSSS....

 

I really liked the film. I especially liked the bargain scene in the barn at the end. Showing less is more there...

 

I wouldn't call it Lovecraftian unless you want to infer the entity she made the bargain with was an another aspect of Narly ( but there is no evidence given or intended to that fact in the film ).


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#23 Nick Storm

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 10:55 PM

A friend of mine's Wife works in the Rhode Island Historical Society. She said that all the 'odd' occurrences in the film were taken from actual written accounts of witchcraft or the like in that area / time - The Massachusetts Bay Colony. The various animals, Calebs disappearance and distress to include his litany, ect. 

 

Just an excellent film. I use it for 'profiling' purposes - to determine who is worthy of further film reviews and literature discussion at cocktail parties, if they enjoyed it as well.


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#24 yronimoswhateley

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 07:41 PM

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...

 

-=b

 

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:

Spoiler

 

 

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 :)


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#25 Badger

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 12:31 AM

yronimoswhateley, just so you know, i'm not trying to pick on you. And in fact, i agree with you that there's nothing about The VVitch that is particularly Lovecraftian. "Hawthorneian" makes a lot more sense. The movie has it's roots firmly dug in the folklore of New England (i've watched the Q&A with the writer/director, who stated as much over and over), rather than anything HPL ever wrote..

 

That being said, i think one could argue that some of the themes presented in The VVitch could be compared to Lovecraft's. And that a Keeper could draw many an influence from it.

 

tl;dr- you and i are more in agreement than my previous post indicated.. :)

 

-=badger


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#26 yronimoswhateley

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 04:35 PM

Thanks, Badger! :)

 

For the record, I've been (slowly, far too slowly) digging up as many "Lovecraftian" movies as I can track down and watch, and I'm about halfway through cataloguing them in the YSDC Wiki, and I definitely included The Witch in the list.

 

In fact, the absolute least Lovecraftian film I've included (so far) was, actually, a 1968 film sometimes called Necronomicon, which turns out to be an art-psychedelic-softcore-porn film with almost nothing to do with Lovecraft beyond the title, and appears so far to be about as non-Lovecraftian as a film can possibly get and still appear on a list of "Lovecraftian" movies, though Nyarlathotep knows I still haven't seen some other infamous entries yet, such as Cthulhu Mansion, so I suppose it's possible for that lower-end standard to get even lower.  In any event, The Witch was a film that I didn't find especially Lovecraftian, but it's definitely more so than some of the entries in that list, and I'd recommend it over many alleged adaptations of Lovecraft stories I've seen over the last couple months!


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#27 measuredrums

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 08:53 PM

Just watched this last weekend .... loved it ... My 2 cents worth ... I highly recommend 'The Witch' to any Keeper and/or players who may be getting ready to run/play in Pagan Publishing/YSDC's 'Devil's Children.'  I had prepped 'DC' to run for my group as a Halloween session, but the session fell through. After watching 'The Witch' I'm extra motivated to run 'DC' some time soon anyway. You really get a feeling for the dread and despair and the setting/period is so evocative ... it was very inspiring. Highly recommended!







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