The Witch: A New-England Folktale
Directed by Robert Eggers and featuring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, and Kate Dickie
2015, 93 minutes
My wife and our two sons REALLY enjoy horror films. Me? Eh, not so much. Anyway, my wife is always pestering our oldest son who lives in town about five miles away to come over with his brood for a scary movie sleepover. Well, they finally agreed to stay over last night.
We started things off with lots of junk food and pizza. So, what’s to complain about? After our youngest granddaughter, age 4, went off to bed at 9 PM, the rest of us watched “The Witch,” which our son provided via his laptop. The plot of the film centers around a Puritan family that’s banished from their community in 17th-century New England and start a farm on the edge of some very dark woods. We all know that dark woods spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e. As the story continues, the family’s set of young twins admit to conversing with the goat, Black Phillip, an infant and pre-teen boy are apparently abducted by a witch, and the oldest daughter is drawn ever closer to the diabolical. After having escaped the clutches of the witch, the pre-teen boy declares his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior in a dying swoon.
I know a lot of Christians object to this type of entertainment and it’s certainly not my first choice but Satan doesn’t attract anyone to his cause by these repulsive horror films. On the contrary, the Bible says Satan is transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He does his damage by presenting an alternative “christian” religion that teaches a “gospel” of salvation by merit rather than the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. He advises everyone can merit salvation by “following the light they’ve been given” and by being “good” even if they don’t believe in God. The belief straight from the pit of hell that’s widely accepted throughout the world today is that everyone is basically “good” and most will merit Heaven IF there is one. Christians strongly object to a dumb horror film about a witch but it’s perfectly fine and even commendable to embrace those who preach a different gospel of sacramental grace and merit as “brothers and sisters in Christ.” Oy! Does anyone else see the irony operating here?
I’m not an expert on the topic but I do know the Puritans of colonial times did not always act in accordance with God’s Word. They continued the Catholic practice of uniting church and state into a theocracy. Those who disagreed with church leadership were punished by the civil authorities. Charges of “witchcraft” were leveled against congregants, neighbors, and associates out of hatred or jealousy. Praise the Lord for raising up Reformers like Roger Williams and others to challenge the lingering Roman residue.
Neither of our two sons are Christians but they’re confronted with the message of Jesus Christ even in a lowly film like “The Witch.”