Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd:
Not since William Friedkin's The Exorcist has such a controversially terrifying film been unleashed on audiences. The Witch is without a doubt the first film in years to actually terrify me, not just because it was frightening in essence, but it was so startlingly real.
The Witch is purported to be based on true historical accounts and folk tales to present a distinct mix of fact and fiction, creating a uniquely horrifying cinematic experience unlike anything I've ever witnessed before. The soundtrack makes the atmosphere 10,000 times more tense, expertly placing ear-shattering violins and alternatively a complete absence of music. The way the score ping pongs back and forth with its presence in the film helps keep the audience on edge with the gradual crescendo of terror that unfolds within the 90 minute runtime. It's a masterpiece of a soundtrack that plays pitch perfectly with the audience's nerves and emotions.
I can't remember the last time a film was shot in 1.66:1 aspect ratio. That may sound strange to comment on, but the truth is that cinematic aspect ratios fascinate me. The aspect ratio can be used for a variety of reasons, from Wes Anderson's consistently changing ratios to embody the different time periods that The Grand Budapest Hotel takes place in to Xavier Dolan's claustrophobic 1:1 aspect ratio in Mommy, the ratio can be used to tell part of the story or set a genuine mood the director is aiming for. In The Witch's case, the 1.66:1 aspect ratio gives the film a simple feeling, embodying the 1600's time period, and the simple lifestyle of the characters within. Naturally, as the film progresses, we find out much more than just a simple lifestyle, but for the sake of spoilers, I won't delve in any further. If anything, you're best off going into this film blind, only knowing that you're in for a riveting and terrifying cinematic horror experience.
It seems that newer horror films are getting better and better, and The Witch is just the latest of these examples. Filled with dread, terror, and horrifying realism, Robert Eggers' horror masterpiece is the most terrifying film of the year, of the decade, probably of this century. Audiences have never been subjected to anything quite like this, and I guarantee something like this won't come around again for a very long time. It's an unbelievable horrifying masterpiece that must be seen by the most avid of horror fans.