A24 Films is certainly one of the most exciting new studios around, and they currently have their hands full juggling Oscar campaigns for some of their swell 2015 offerings like Room, Amy, and Ex Machina. But 2016 looks to be yet another exciting year for the studio, with the horror film The Witch standing as quite possibly their most anticipated film of the year. They knocked it out of the park with a terrifying debut trailer for the movie, and now with one month to go before release, they’ve unveiled a new The Witch trailer that maintains the creepy tone without giving away too much of the story.
The feature directorial debut of Robert Eggers is billed as a New England folktale and takes place in the year 1630, a generation before the Salem witch trials. The story revolves around a small family that has been excommunicated from its plantation due to father William’s outspoken objections to what he sees as the community’s lax religious principles. But when he moves his family to a remote cabin near the foreboding woods, an unspeakable horror creeps in, leaving their lives forever changed.
I caught the movie at the Sundance Film Festival last year (read my review here) and trust me, it’s the real deal. Eggers’ handle on mood and atmosphere is masterful, and the film terrifies not with jump scares or dense mythology, but with tremendous filmmaking, a striking score, and excellent performances. This new trailer teases all of those aspects of the film, as well as the breakout character “Black Phillip”, the creepiest goat you’ll ever meet.
Watch the new trailer below, via A24. The Witch opens in theaters on February 19th and stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, and Lucas Dawson.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Witch:
In this exquisitely made and terrifying new horror film, the age-old concepts of witchcraft, black magic and possession are innovatively brought together to tell the intimate and riveting story of one family’s frightful unraveling in the New England wilderness circa 1630. New England, 1630. Upon threat of banishment by the church, an English farmer leaves his colonial plantation, relocating his wife and five children to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest – within which lurks an unknown evil. Strange and unsettling things begin to happen almost immediately – animals turn malevolent, crops fail, and one child disappears as another becomes seemingly possessed by an evil spirit. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, family members accuse teenage daughter Thomasin of witchcraft, charges she adamantly denies. As circumstances grow more treacherous, each family member’s faith, loyalty and love become tested in shocking and unforgettable ways. Writer/director Robert Eggers’ debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival – winning the Best Director Prize in the U.S. Narrative Competition – painstakingly recreates a God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which religious convictions tragically turned to mass hysteria. Told through the eyes of the adolescent Thomasin – in a star-making turn by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy – and supported by mesmerizing camera work and a powerful musical score, THE WITCH is a chilling and groundbreaking new take on the genre.