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Witch (Film Review)

3 min read

Movies about witches have been part of the film industry since those dark folklore stories they’re based on were written. There’s something very intriguing about superstitions, witchcraft, and darkness wreaking havoc. This time, the directors duo Craig Hinde (Bella) and Marc Zammit (Homeless Ashes) take us back to an English village in 1575 that’s being tormented by a supernatural force. While their Witch doesn’t come without flaws, it is still an electrifying, unnerving British folk horror film full of stunning set designs and solid performances.

That Witch has a gorgeous set design, and enriching visuals become apparent from the start. They immediately set the perfect gothic and slightly claustrophobic setting for the dark and uncertain time the young woman Twyla (Sarah Alexandra Marks) faces. After being falsely accused of witchcraft, she will be hanged if found guilty. Her accuser is Johanna (Mims Burton), a young woman who was seen wandering around with the severed heads of her parents after killing them. Time is at Twyla’s essence; therefore, her blacksmith husband William (Ryan Spong) goes on a gruelling and life-threatening quest to save her. While searching for the truth, he even enlists the help of the mysterious Thomas (Russell Shaw), who may or may not be who he seems to be. Can William prove Twyla’s innocence, or will the immortal evils prevent him from clearing her name?


While the dark shadows lingering over the small village are the main threats for William, he also faces the wrath of villains closer to home in the form of the ruthless Judge Hopkins (Daniel Jordan) and his right-hand man/local marshal (Fabrizio Santino). While both characters are less developed and much more broadly written than the leads, adding those two law enforcers is a clever move of the screenwriters Hinde, Zammit and David Baboulene (Bella). They not only add another layer to the intense narrative, which beautifully combines fear, superstitions and impending doom, but they also allow Jordan and Santino to show us their outstanding acting skills. Hopkins’ determination and cruelty just spat off the screen because of Jordan’s (Revolution X) stern and explosive acting. At the same time, Santino (Hollyoaks) provides this movie with an immense suave, bad-ass and dynamic performance.

The entire cast delivers solid acting, especially Burton (Doctors) as the murderous, crazy Johanna, but Marks and Spong shine the brightest in this feature about darkness. Marks (Help) ensures her character is emotionally vulnerable and robust with a multi-layered performance. While Twyla faces death, there’s also a glimmer of hope, (motherly) love and determination in her eyes. Marks’s on-screen husband, William, is portrayed in Spong’s (A Song from the Dark) powerful, emotional and passionate performance. The actors ensure you stay emotionally and personally invested in the main protagonists throughout the entire feature.


Speaking of passion, Witch is a work made by many passionate people both in front and behind the camera. In addition to the gorgeous work of cinematographer Richard Oakes (Homeless Ashes), the stunning set designs amplify the intenseness of the storyline sets, while Jenny Anderson’s (Sequins) glorious costumes ensure that all the actors look like they’re truly living in the isolated and gothic village. The melancholic but also menacing score fascinatingly compliments the events happening on screen.

Despite being visually striking, Witch stumbles and falls a little bit. The movie opens with the end, after which you see the ‘four days earlier’ sign. Therefore, as an audience member, you know how this feature will end before it truly starts. Because of that, the suspense level isn’t as high as it could have been, especially when the science fiction element, which needs to be a surprise to avoid spoilers, is being introduced. The filmmakers also decided to shoot this movie entirely digitally, but no matter how beautiful the scenes are, the authenticity of the 16th-century setting declines because of that too-modern, digital look.

Overall, minus some narrative and visual flaws, Witch is a vividly looking and solidly performed film which fans of occult and gothic horror period pieces will undoubtedly love.

Witch is now available on digital