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Scariest trailer of the year? Watch the preview for The Witch and find out

There’s been quite of buzz surrounding the first trailer for The Witch, writer/director Robert Eggers’ thriller about a colonial family who may or may not be tormented by a witch rumored to live in the dark forest near their home. With some critics and journalists calling it the scariest trailer of the year — and some going so far as to call it one of the scariest trailers of all time — the Sundance Film Festival darling has quickly become popular nightmare fuel for online audiences.

Set in New England during the early 17th century, the film earned a “Best Director” award at Sundance for Eggers, a former art director and production designer making his first foray into directing feature films.

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The haunting film chronicles the dark events that transpire after a Puritan family settles on the edge of an ominous forest. As strange things begin to happen around them and upset their lives, their paranoia mounts and they begin to turn on each other as they attempt to rid their lives of the mysterious, evil presence tormenting them.

The Witch has been hailed by critics for its faithfulness to its period setting, and Eggers’ attention to detail. Along with earning “Best Director” honors at Sundance earlier this year, the film was also nominated for the festival’s prestigious Grand Jury Prize. The cast is made up of mostly unknowns, including Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, and Lucas Dawson.

While the movie currently isn’t scheduled for wide release until 2016, it will be screened at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and is expected to be available via on-demand services during (or possibly ahead of) its theatrical release.

You can see the film’s official poster below.

the witch poster