‘The Witch’ Director Robert Eggers Created a Horror Film That Would Mirror a New England Puritan’s Nightmare

The Witch: A New England Folktale writer and director had a childhood fascination with witches and frequently visited Pilmoth Plantation as a child in school

Since its 2015 premiere, ‘The Witch’ remains one of the most poignant period horror films of the past decade. The supernatural horror film about a puritan family’s violent encounters with a New England coven was writer and director Robert Eggers’ debut film, before he went on to make 2019’s equally-chilling period horror film, ‘The Lighthouse.’

Leading up to the critically-acclaimed debut of ‘The Witch,’ Eggers revealed some of the inspirations around the film. According to the New Hampshire-born filmmaker, the inspiration for ‘The Witch’ came during his childhood when e would frequently visit Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, which replicates an original settlement of the Plymouth Colony from the 17th century.

The Witch premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won Eggers the Best Director award. The filmmaker explained at a New Hampshire Film Festival screening of The Witch:

“When it came to the writing of this piece, it came from the source material. What was really interesting about the research, was that aside from the extreme intelligentsia, the fairy tale world and the real world were the same thing. We looked at fairy tales and folk tales, but also diaries and accounts of real witchcraft and court records, and you see the same tropes throughout, the same witch. It was really cool to realize that doing a fairy tale as if it could really exist was the most realistic portrayal of the 17th century that the layperson would have experienced. If I could take a Puritan’s nightmare as I would envision it and upload it into the audience’s mind’s eye, that was the goal.

The Witch went on Read the full story on IndieWire: How Robert Eggers Combined History and Childhood Horrors in ‘The Witch’

Eggers’ next film is called The Northman, a historical Viking tale set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century. and follows a Nordic prince who seeks revenge for his father’s murder. Filming was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with filming happening right now in Malin, according to Irish Mirror.

Barry Falls Jr
Barry was the managing editor of his university newspaper before contributing as a freelance content creator for Yahoo News and Esquire. He founded Horror Theory in 2014 to analyze horror films through a sociological lens.

Latest articles

Green Room (2015): The Festering Ultra-Violent Rage of ‘Angry White Males’ in Pre-Tr*mp America

It probably is not a coincidence that, in 2016, A24 released their horror-thriller masterpiece Green Room the same month that Republican presidential...

The Invitation (2015): The Spiritual Philosophy of Bereavement and the Cult of Social Civility

Tonight is the night our faith becomes real, reads the tagline for The Invitation, the psychological horror thriller that chronicles the dinner...

We Are Still Here (2015): The Supernatural Dread of Denial, Grief, and Rural Isolationism

There’s a reason why haunted-house films are such a welcomed mainstay in the horror genre. The house as a safe space and...

The Witch (2015): The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Puritan Moral Panic and Patriarchal Family Dynamics

The 2010s marked a notable resurgence of religious themes and imagery in horror film. Perhaps most faithful to theological folklore was 2015’s...

It Follows (2014): Sex, Nostalgia, and The Existential Dread of Emerging Adulthood

Sex and horror have been tethered together in film since the genre's beginnings. Horror cinema remains one of the sharpest means for...

Creep (2014): The Nature of Creepiness, Exploited Loneliness, and Fabricated Victimhood

If ever there were an accolade for the most aptly-title horror film, it should undoubtedly go to 2014's Creep, which embodies its...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISMENT

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ADVERTISMENT