The story begins when the youngest son, Samuel, suddenly disappears right in front of the eldest daughter's eyes (like movie-literally!) The father along with Thomasin, the eldest daughter, and Caleb go into the woods in search of Samuel. Witchcraft (and wolves) is blamed for the child's disappearance and there are rumors of a witch living deep in the woods who apparently appears in the night to feed on their livestock and snatches babies away.

As the film's narrative develops the twins - Mercy and Jonas - put the blame of the child's disappearance on Thomasin's wizardry.

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The children even claim her elder sister to be the witch herself. So, Thomasin (played brilliantly by Anya Taylor-Joy) becomes the prime suspect and the family ties, love, loyalty and faith is put to test.

Set in the medieval times

"The Witch" (2015) is set in the medieval times where stories of witches and ghost sightings was ripe (it's a folklore story or "a campfire tale".) A family of six - a husband and wife and their four children -  live deep in the forest in 1630's New England. The family seem more like to be hiding from the so-called righteous 17th-century Puritan community than living their existential lives out among the law-abiding citizens.

"The Witch" is "played like a campfire tale, the plot follows a family in 17th Century New England who are excommunicated from the Puritan community," reported The Guardian. 

However, it has recently come to light that the righteous Puritans are not so "priggish" after all. William J. Kole of the Las Vegas Review Journal - "Puritans who you think they were, scholar says" - has reported (from an Associated Press article) that a leading Puritan scholar has made claims that "the famously strait-laced 17th-century sectarians who helped settle America weren't nearly as priggish as you might think."

Presence of darker elements

The presence of darker elements such as  lust - 'the original sin' -, incest (the scene where Caleb's lustful-gaze is fixed at his sister's chest), underage sex, blood and gore, and beastiality is ripe through out the "The Witch." The witch dressed as Little Red Riding Hood luring Caleb into her house makes the narrative even more explicit and horrifying. In another scene from the film, the old scary naked witch is seen feeding on the goat in a more sexual posture rather than the human-way.

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The raven scene

The presence of the raven (Edgar Alan Poe's The Raven is regarded as the darkest poem and the black raven as the darkest creature) feeding, 'plucking raw meat' out, on Thomasin's mother's breasts (she feeds the raven breast-milk thinking that its her dead son Caleb) is the scene "the horror" of which ( to quote the novelist Joseph Conrad's terms the raven scene is the "heart of darkness" of The Witch) will remain with you for sometime.

And there is the black goat. There is always something sinister and malevolent about the animal since the start of the film.

Everything about it is black. 

Other movies with similar plot lines 

"The Crucible" is the first film that comes to mind where a group is labelled as outcasts and is forced to live away from the community on the basis of practicing witchcraft. Renowned Hollywood director M. Night Shyamalan (of The Sixth Sense fame) made a movie called "The Village." It's another film that instantly popped-up into my movie-mind after watching the "The Witch."

The two films have similar plot lines in many ways than one.

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For instance, both families are being "raised" ("Who raised you?" Shutter Island) deep in the "heart of darkness" of the woods, away from the 'corrupt' civilization. In both cases, the families have been abandoned and are living an existential lives. The only difference is that in the The Witch the monster is for real whereas in The Village the monster is created, an enigma birthed by the 'state officials with deep secrets' where the monster roams in the far ends of the woods in order to keep the children of the village from leaving the woods. 

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