Blair Russell’s review published on Letterboxd:
You know, I should just avoid most of these modern pretentious horror movies.
I realize many on a site like Letterboxd will vehemently disagree but for years I have thought these “heightened horror movies” (a term I'll never understand) were typically either overrated (The Babadook, It Follows, Hereditary) or just plain bad and insufferable (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, that wretched Suspiria remake) and to be honest I was wary of a 2019 movie shot in black and white & with the old silent movie aspect ratio, as it gave me a sound not-unlike the foghorn you often here in this movie that the director had his head up his own ass. I mean, don't expect me to ever see Midsommar as I've heard more than enough to tell me it would be an awful 2 ½ hours and it'd be better spent revisiting the original The Wicker Man instead.
Thing is, The Witch is a movie I thought was great and am glad I saw theatrically. I didn't even have a problem hearing or deciphering most of the Olde English used. Thus, it being free on Prime meant that I might as well see the next movie from the guy who gave me The Witch. Unfortunately, those specific accents used at the expense of the typical audience member-much to my relief that wasn't too difficult most of the time, although it was still an unnecessary complication & the subtitles were turned on-and hearing that director Eggers wanted scenes done in a hyper-specific way... it scream out PRETENSION. So does the story of two random jerks in early 20th century New England acting like jerks to each other for almost two hours. If only there was a reason for me to care... seeing too many gross moments, Dafoe's constant farts or Pattison wanking off were not reasons why, nor was the story devolving into nonsense and increasingly inexplicable imagery.
It is a shame as the look and sound of the movie was tremendous and I can't fault the performances of Willem Dafoe or Robert Pattison with the material they had. That overall vibe helped me get through the movie despite not enjoying or liking the journey it was taking me on. It is why I can give this an OK rating; as I state too often, it is nice that most people love something and it leaves me despondent the feeling isn't shared by myself.