Saturday, May 21, 2016

Why THE WITCH is Wonderful

Spoilers afoot:

I had said some time ago that mainstream hype can kind of kill a horror movie upon release, citing recent horror flicks "The Babadook" and "It Follows" as examples. "The Babadook" was overrated anal waste, while "It Follows" wasn't bad. Now I've finally gotten around to seeing "The Witch", which had quite a bit of more than favorable critical reviews, but for some reason, audiences seemed to hate. Keep in mind that when I say audiences, I mean mainstream audiences.

Now why did mainstream audiences shit all over "The Witch"? Well, probably because it doesn't offer a jump scare every twenty seconds. One thing I've realized from going to see a few horror flicks in theaters (the original "Paranormal Activity" being chief among them) is that mainstream audiences base how they enjoy a horror movie from the number of jump scares they experience. "The Witch" doesn't offer anything of the sort. It's cerebral and doesn't spell anything out for the viewer, which is probably another reason audiences hated it. Audiences seemed to enjoy "The Forest" better, and that movie is a piece of shit for sure, but it offers jump scares and little to no intelligence...just like mainstream movie-going audiences. Yes I know that sounds mean, but y'all know it's true.

Now, I had said that "The Witch" doesn't spell anything out for the viewer, and it doesn't. It doesn't flat out spell on the screen that Black Philip is Satan himself, or that he's giving a contract out at the end of the film in an effort to get the surviving daughter to sell her soul to him, but if you had half a brain, you'd get that. Mainstream audiences need to have every rhyme and reason for anything that happens in a movie to be spelled out and explained to them, because that's what they expect. They don't want to think, they want to turn their brains off and be entertained. Now there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but when it comes to films that offer a more cerebral experience instead of eye-bleeding CGI effects and pure stupidity, most audiences will rather choose the latter.

Not to mention the fact that this film is surprisingly graphic in its depictions of child death/torment, which for someone like me is quite lovely. It's really nice to see a mainstream-released horror movie not hold back. In fact, I'm really surprised this film had a national run in theaters. Seriously, I'm really fucking surprised.

Now I know I sound like an elitist fuck here in this thing, but when it comes to things like this, I guess I kind of am. I'm also unapologetic about it, so there's that. Regardless, you should really see "The Witch". It's the best mainstream-released horror movie in recent memory, and it now holds a special place in my heart.

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