First released in 2016, The Witch is one of the best horror films of the past few years.
Based, so the film claimed, on actual historical records, The Witch told the story of a Puritan family living in 17th century New England and finding themselves haunted by not just a billy goat named Black Phillip but also by a baby-eating witch who lives in the forest.
In the scene below, Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) meets the Witch (Bathsheba Garnett) herself and they share a rather fateful kiss. Among my friends, this scene is actually somewhat controversial. Some of them wish that the film had kept the Witch off-screen for its entirety, the better to leave some ambiguity as to whether the family was truly cursed or just a victim of mass hysteria. While I see their point, I think this scene works well in the overall scheme of the film. In this scene, the witch reveals herself to be everything that the Puritans were supposedly against and her seduction of Caleb establishes that the film is ultimately a battle between the desires of the flesh and the piety of the soul.
It’s also interesting that, if The Witch can be viewed as a cinematic folk tale, the witch is wearing a red hood, linking her to the story of Little Red Riding Hood and leaving us to wonder who the wolf really is in this case.