The film screening of the Witch at Cinema Salem last Thursday evening brought together what would seem an eclectic group in any other city than Salem. Salem witch trials historians, the film’s acclaimed director, Robert Eggers, and actor Anya Taylor-Joy, local officials, and practicing witches came together to discuss the film’s terrifying themes.
After a day of media coverage at the Witch House, an elegant cocktail reception was held at the Salem Witch Museum to thank reporters, bloggers and all involved with promoting the Sundance award winning film.
Set in the early 17th century, a family of colonists ousted from their community for reasons unknown forge a new life on the edge of uncharted wilderness, where the devil himself was believed to reign. The film’s cinematography, score, dialog and symbols of witchcraft combine to create an air of tension that has been compared to the Shining.
During the panel discussion post screening there was a lively conversation including practicing witches Tomas O’Brien Vallor and Lori Bruno, author Brunonia Barry, and historians Tad Baker and Richard Trask, just to name a few. Overall it seemed the audience appreciated the attention to details depicting the time period as much as the portrayal of colonial superstitious beliefs in the diabolical witch.
If you are a horror film fan this one is a must-see.