Last year around this time I really enjoyed It Follows, despite not fully being able to articulate the themes it is built on at the time. It took an extended discussion and a rewatch months later for me to wrap my head around the film in a satisfactory way, a fate that will certainly also befall The Witch this year. Writer/director Robert Eggers’ debut is a film that is undoubtedly thematic in its construction and execution, but not in a way I can easily summarize just yet. What I can say with certainty though is that like It Follows before it, The Witch is intense as hell and a very engrossing watch, whether you “get it” or not.
I love Christmas, which is something my friends seem to always find endearingly out-of-character compared to my usual prickly, frustrated state. Perhaps it’s because for me, Christmas has always represented the kind of earnest emotion and community that I wish we saw more often in the world. Having said that, I know there are plenty of people and families for whom Christmas is just a big, stinking dysfunctional mess, and that there is more than enough crass commercialism surrounding the holiday for someone to be cynical about it. It is into this dichotomy that Michael Dougherty drops a giant goat-demon, like you do. Krampus might not live up to the tremendous example of Dougherty’s Trick ‘R Treat but it is nevertheless a great monster movie and a great Christmas movie in equal measure.