Described on its official poster as “A New England folktale,” the horror film The Witch debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a directing award (U.S. Dramatic) and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.
Now, A24 has debuted a very terrifying first full-length trailer for The Witch. The film takes place among a group of new colonists in New England, in the 17th century, where a witch is doing terrible things, such as performing curses, causing crops to fail, and kidnapping young babies for their own nefarious purposes.
“There’s evil in the wood” are the final words heard in The Witch's trailer; indeed, overall the preview is marked with an air of darkness and foreboding, with subdued colors and cinematography depicting endless seas of towering trees in the woods (and terrified people running through them). Also making an appearance is an evil, very scary goat, with a fondness for standing on his hind legs.
That same goat also makes an appearance on the poster for The Witch, which you can check out below:
The film, written and directed by first timer Robert Eggers, stars newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy along with a pair of minor Game of Thrones actors of the past: Kate Dickie (who played Lysa Arryn) and Ralph Ineson (who was Dagmer Cleftjaw); Ineson also played Finchy on the British version of The Office and was in the final three Harry Potter movies (as the Deatheater Amycus Carrow.) Julien Richings, who played Death on several episodes of Supernatural, is in the film as well.
Eggers was previously a theater director and has also directed short films; that shows in the trailer for The Witch, which comes off as an atmospheric horror film with somewhat artsy trappings, in the tradition of the recent The Babadook and It Follows, and like those it may have a chance of crossing over to audiences who aren’t typically horror fans (the early positive buzz from Sundance bodes well, too). Eggers, meanwhile, has now become attached to direct a remake of Nosferatu, no doubt in part thanks to the reception for The Witch thus far.
The Witch will have its international premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is slated to reach U.S. theaters sometime in 2016.