When the first trailer for The Witch was released back in August 2015, it prompted more than a few professional movie journalists and armchair critics to declare it one of the scariest trailers ever made. The second trailer for the film arrived online this week, and hyperbole aside, it offers yet another indication of why filmmaker Robert Eggers’ tale of a 17th-century Puritan family dealing with dark forces earned him the “Best Director” award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.
While there’s already debate regarding how the second trailer compares to its predecessor, one thing that seems certain is that the film teased by the two trailers isn’t going to be your typical horror movie.
Written and directed by Eggers, The Witch tells the story of a New England family in the year 1630 who are forced to leave their village and relocate to the edge of a deep forest. After strange things begin happening around them, tensions mount and the blame falls upon the family’s teenage daughter (portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy), who’s accused of consorting with occult entities. The story unfolds several decades before the infamous Salem Witch Trials, and lays the groundwork for the religious hysteria that will eventually become one of history’s most notorious examples of paranoia run amok.
Eggers has received tremendous acclaim for his attention to detail in recreating New England in the early 17th century, and The Witch was the recipient of quite a bit of buzz coming out of last year’s Sundance Film Festival — so expectations are already quite high for this low-budget horror movie.
Along with Taylor-Joy in the role of Thomasin, the family’s teenage daughter, the film also stars Ralph Ineson (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Kate Dicki (Red Road, Prometheus).
The Witch is expected to hit theaters February 19.