the witch review

Last week, I attended a screening of The Witch hosted by the Satanic Temple and then went to a Satanic ritual. It was my second time seeing The Witch, but my first time participating in a ritual that concluded with chants of “Hail Satan.” The remaining shards of Catholic still embedded deep within me screamed the entire time.

My invitation to this screening explained how The Witch is “transformative Satanic experience” and how the Satanic Temple “supports the film’s declaration of feminine independence, which provokes puritanical America and inspires a tradition of spiritual transgression.” I saw The Witch at Fantastic Fest last year and was blown away by it (and have written about it on more than a few occasions since then) and this seemed like an excellent opportunity to revisit the film and collect an interesting anecdote or two.

And since The Witch is in theaters now (and just had the biggest opening in A24’s history), this certainly feels like the right time to have a larger conversation about this film, a deeply uncomfortable horror movie that plays differently depending on what baggage you bring into the screening. In this case, I had three perspective to consider: my entirely secular worldview, the beliefs of my Catholic wife/screening plus-one, and the ethos of the screening’s Satanist hosts.

Spoilers for the film follow.

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