Sunday, February 21, 2016

We will conquer this wilderness. It will not consume us.

There are some moments only the forest can inspire.

These are the words the breathy narrator utters about half-way through a radio commercial I hear every single morning on my way to work. Initially, I'd find myself laughing at the whole premise, as this ad is a thinly-veiled plea to bring your damn kids outside. But I get it. Our national forests are amazing places to bring the kids.

Assuming they come back.


While The Revenant [review] may have dampened my enthusiasm about the woods a bit, Robert Eggers' beautifully unnerving film The Witch has f--king destroyed it. Sure, angry momma-bears and Pocahontas' dad aren't to be messed with out there among the trees. But trust me, neither of them have got shit on the mysterious forces waiting in these woods. *shudder*

After some sort of disagreement with the town's leaders, William and his family leave the small, religious society and attempt to make it on their own. Without a doubt, times are tough for William and his brood (five kids, a dog and wife), but with steadfast 17th-century determination, and a firm belief in God, it looks like they're going to make it afterall Well, it did, until William's infant son is kidnapped and presumed dead.

Sadly, the best case scenario is that an animal dragged the young boy off, but depending on whom you ask, it was most certainly a witch. William's bratty fraternal twins are quick to finger their oldest sister Thomasin (the lovely Anya Taylor-Joy, looking like she could be Katherine Heigl's kid sister), but she vehemently denies having anything to do with it. Her younger brother Caleb believes her, but only when he's not staring at her uh, blossoming womanhood. 

While the abduction and death of an infant is just about the worst thing you'd think this or any family would have to deal with (and the worst thing the p(r)aying audience would have to cower through), unfortunately, they've just simply arrived at the gates of their personal Hell (they'll be opened momentarily). The land quickly becomes spoiled, as crops cease to grow, and the animals are unable to produce anything edible/not terrifying. Desperate times will indeed call for desperate measures.

 This is exactly what I did for the last 45 minutes of The Witch.
William's wife Katherine, who was likely in the throes of depression prior, unravels. Sure, she tightens her grip on believing in God, but she lets go of everything else. This culminates into a scene that I simply can't unsee. And usually I like titties.

All (stupid ass) jokes aside, ultimately The Witch is a tough f--king sell. Beautifully crafted and atmospheric as a motherf--ker, the film patiently grabs you by the naughty bits and chokes the life out of them. The jump scares are almost nonexistent (I think I was only blindsided once), and the violence and gore are only shown for fractions of seconds. What's truly harrowing, what actually made me sit in a defensive position, is the sense of dread and despair that never ever lets up. 

So...should you see it? Uhh...

While it's not a film I actually enjoyed, but rather survived, I'd still have no problem recommending it. To like, two of you (you know who you are). I was enthralled the entire ninety-three minutes I sat there, but could sense the rest of the room thinking, What the f--k is this? I'm not saying I'm better or smarter than them...I'm just not a huge fan of modern-horror, so I was cool with a movie that doesn't having a masked psychopath torturing people to a children's song. Or a number after the title.

What I'm not cool with, however, are the Yays and Boos. These two couldn't gather themselves after The Conjuring 2 trailer, but apparently...neither could anyone else at the almost sold-out showing we attended.

No, no. Heading into the woods at dusk? Tis' a good plan!
  • Ah, New England. I love thee so.
  • So that's what nightmares sound like. Not that I ever want to hear it again, but the f--king score is amazing.
  • The village they left reminded me a lot of Resident Evil 4 (the best video game ever). Well, minus the Chainsaw Guy, anyway, even if he would've fit in just fine
  • I used to think it was the glow of fluorescent lighting in an office, but no, the scariest lighting of all? Natural lighting.
  • Caleb, I ain't mad at you, son. Hell of a first kiss, right?
  • There are many scenes where the shit is hitting the fan, but my favorite? Well, let's just call it the blame game. And Dad's solution? Totally nailed it!
  • There's a shot near the end...that's just...perfect. In fact, it so exquisitely captures the entire essence of the brutality of the film, I'd love to just post it here and drop the mic. Well...assuming I could stomach ever seeing it again.
  • I want to be home. Oh, well that could be arr- In England. Oh...uh...sorry?
  • Black Philip. Not to be f--ked with. This goat might be the G.O.A.T of, well, goats.
  • Sure it may entirely f--k up their adult lives, but these child actors handle the freaky stuff (and the not so freaky stuff) like seasoned vets. Taylor-Joy deftly puts the sin in Thomasin, but Harvey Scrimshaw, in addition to having one of the raddest names on the planet, fully delivers as the morally-conflicted Caleb. Oh, and those two little f--kers who played the twins, they were great, too. Well, assuming they're not little f--kers in real-life...
  • And finally, how perfectly late 1600's New England is brought to life. Even with a heavy dose of the supernatural, The Witch feels like it borders on documentary at times. And if that's truly the case...well, feel free to go f--k yourself, 1670. You and your scary ass rabbit, woods, food supply, children, goat(s), strange women, poorly functioning guns, medical procedures, townspeople and just about everything else you have to offer.
Yes, even dinner time is creepy as f--k.
  • Might as well get this one out of the way, authentic or not, the dialogue can be hard as Hell to understand. I needed ye ol' subtitles for a third of it.
  • Um...even if it was mostly implied, uh...the scene with the the...uh...*sobs quietly while sucking thumb*
  • Dude. Duuuuude. They're boobs. No, check that. They're your sister's boobs. Not cool.
  • I am no witch, father. Well, good luck convincing your mother, dear.
  • And speaking of, Mom, how 'bout you stop praying for a second and f--king do something. Other than incessant shrieking (about her goddamn cup, no less). That's not helping, either. She's pretty much Mary Todd Lincoln...except worse.
  • I don't care how hungry you're getting...f--k checking those traps. Or, I don't know...put them somewhere else. Please?
  • Gosh, Anya Taylor-Joy is pretty. The Boo? She was born when I graduated high school. (yes, sound the Perv Alarm)
  • The Devil is among us. Well not really, but my wife has decided to change my daughter's diaper, right next to me, and I'm starting to believe there is no God.
  • Did a wolf take my cup, too? Probably not the best time for a solid burn, Mom (but it was a good one).
  • There is a legend in my family that I was raised on goats' milk (I was the kid my parents temporarily abandoned all normalcy on). Hey, thanks for sustaining me in my developmental years, guys, but from now on? F--k goats. Forever.
  • The dog, Fowler. What happened to that dog, really hit me in my guts. Er, gut. My gut.
  • Hey, Caleb's back. But his clothes aren't. But at least he ate while he was gone. Or tried to, anyway.
  • Speaking of, the home-remedy/state-of-the-art procedure they use to help the poor kid? If that's me, please, just finish me off. 
  • Dammit, woman. I'll f--king bury you if you don't get out of there. It's not like this day can get any worse.
  • And finally, the ending. I'm sure by now you've heard that it's divisive to say the least, and I fully see how the final five minutes could be...disappointing. I'm not even talking about what happened on earth. That made sense. 
You know, it's not exactly the trees' fault that such bad things keep happening near them, but just in case, in the name of human safety, I think we should burn them all down immediately. Oh, we'll be fine. So what if gets a little warmer/totally unlivable on our planet. At least it'll be less terrifying at night. 

Who even put all these damn trees out here in the first place? God, you say? 

Well, forget that guy. 


  1. So pumped for this one! Still a few weeks to wait but the reviews have gotten me really excited. Nice review :)

    1.'s been awhile, but hopefully you've seen it by now. Wait, let me check. It looks like you haven't. Good luck when you do. When it's not utterly bleak and's f--king bonkers.

  2. After seeing The Revenant I am fucking convienced Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu put the fucking trees out there. The guy probably gets aroused thinking about them

    I laughed so hard reading this! I know bad shit happens to the dog and I know about that baby scene. That is some really sick stuff. But I am so looking forward to this movie, it looks absolutely fantastic. I was listening to the soundtrack yesterday and when those demented choirs suddenly kicked in I nearly shat myself

    1. Trees are pretty sexy, right? I mean...they give me wood.

      Ugh. Two weeks later and that's the best I could come up with.

      Anyway, good luck with this one. I've flipped through Twitter enough to know that you still haven't seen it...yet. Fingers crossed something changes for you.

      Bad shit happens to just about everyone. Well, except those creepy f--kers in the choir. Those mofos come out totally unscathed.

  3. I have got to see this. Hearing some good things about it, including this review.

    1. After a quick scroll through your (rad) site, it looks as if you still haven't seen this one. Hopefully you dig it, as it's creepy as f--k.

  4. I just got out of this. I really enjoyed it, but I thought it was so slow.

    I was expecting the worst breastfeeding scene in the history of film to be in your boos. I can only imagine what my face looked like during that. That couldn't have been pretty lol

    Great review!

    1. It was slow. At times...very.

      Yeah...that breastfeeding scene was all kinds of terrible. It's been three weeks and it still haunts me. Whenever I think about breasts anyway. Which is...well...nevermind.

      Oh my God, my face during this one was much worse. I even turned my body sideways a couple of times, just bracing for the awful.

      It didn't help.

  5. Hahaha great point about never wanted to set food in the either! This movie has cemented all the fears for me! I really loved every aspect of the film...even the Old English sat well with me.

    1. Ah, the Old English. I like the authenticity angle...but sweet Jedidiah, that was rather difficult for thee.

      Okay, I'll stop now.