Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Nightmare Fuel / The VVitch

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_witch_2015_shed_scene_monster.jpg
Advertisement:
  • Samuel's abduction and the sequence that follows. The witch kills him with a knife, rubs herself in flying ointment made from his bloody remains, and ascends to the moonlit sky. All of this is shown (or not shown) in a series of dark, ambiguously filmed shots with no dialogue and bizarre background music, demonstrating how effective minimalism can be in conveying horror.
  • The song the twins sing whilst chasing Black Phillip around the homestead is deeply unsettling.
  • Caleb getting lost in the woods after having been separated from Thomasin. It's getting dark out, he can't find his way home, and the witch is likely lurking around nearby... which she is. His subsequent abduction and implied molestation at the hands of the witch is also pretty unpleasant.
    • When Caleb gets separated from Thomasin, during the shot that shows him starting to run, watch underneath the barrel of his rifle. Just before the scene changes, there is very clearly someone watching him.
    • Caleb's illness and death, especially how panicked and downright insane he becomes in his final moments, screaming and rambling incoherently.
  • Advertisement:
  • The appearance of the witch in the goat shed. William punished Thomasin and the twins by boarding them up in the goat shed, hoping that by isolating them they will learn a lesson. They are completely shut in with no way of escaping. In the middle of the night, the twins are woken up by a loud thump. Keep in mind, it is totally dark out. It then shows inside the barn, from the twins perspective. All the audience hears is a slurping sound, while the twins watch in terror. The camera then cuts to a completely naked, extremely old woman (see this page's picture for what she looks like) sucking milk from a goat's teat. She then turns around and laughs at the twins as they scream in fear.
  • Thomasin, Jonas and Mercy screaming and somebody violently vomiting, coughing and choking in the background as the witch cackles at them.
  • The next shot showing a crow pecking at Katherine's bare breast as she hallucinates breastfeeding her lost child and cackling evilly in a chair.
      Advertisement:
    • The scariest part of this, beyond seeing the witch naked in the barn, is the question of how she got into the barn. It was completely closed up. So picture this: 3 children are locked in a barn when in the dead of night an old woman appears in front of them, by magic, and cackles at them. Horrifying on many levels indeed.
  • The final fate of the twins. Whatever happened to them is never shown. After the goat shed scene, Thomasin wakes up on the ground, the boarded up door in splinters, and she is covered in blood. But there are no bodies anywhere.
  • Black Phillip's true nature. In a dimly-lit scene with little to no music, Black Phillip's goat form disappears and takes the form of a man. The scene is so dark that the audience can catch only a few glimpses of his appearance: a pair of boots (that seemingly shapeshift from the goat's hooves) and what seems to be a bearded face partially hidden by a wide-brimmed hat. There are no horns, and his voice is a mere whisper, but it's quite clear whom Thomasin is really speaking to.
    • The voice itself is incredibly creepy, sounding like something older than time, forced through foreign lips from something inhuman. Based on what the film implies, it's exactly right.
  • The dialogue exchange between Thomasin and Black Phillip (in his true form) is chilling enough due to not being able to see him.
    Thomasin: Black Phillip, I conjure thee to speak to me. Speak as thou dost speak to Jonas and Mercy. Dost thou understand my English tongue? Answer me. (Beat. Thomasin turns to leave)
    Black Phillip: What...does thou want?
    Thomasin: What can thou give?
    Black Phillip: Wouldst thou like the taste of butter? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously? Wouldst thou like to see the world?
    Thomasin: What will you from me?
    Black Phillip: Dost thou see a book before thee? (Thomasin looks at the book as Black Phillip circles her in human form)
  • Black Phillip ordering Thomasin to strip naked for him to see. Such being unnerving enough and her blood-stained naked body being Fan Disservice.
    Black Phillip: Remove thy shift. (Thomasin does so. Black Phillip places a hand on her shoulder)

  • After Thomasin tells Black Phillip she can't write her name in the book before her (possibly due to illiteracy), Black Phillip caresses her naked form and tells her he will guide her to her destination in the woods.
    Thomasin: I cannot write my name.
    Black Phillip: I will guide thy hand.
  • Then it immediately cuts to a Jump Scare / Scare Chord with the outside of the barn showing Black Phillip in goat form leading a naked Thomasin to the woods.
  • The strong sense of isolation from the film is one of the creepiest things about it. After the scene where William and his family are banished from their home town, there's nothing but them and the woods. Even without the witch making their lives miserable, they encounter all of the horrors that can befall a group of exiles in the middle of nowhere: The father is a failure as a hunter and as a farmer, and cannot provide food for his family. Even without the witch, they would all most likely have either died, or their father would have to beg to be able to return back to their previous congregation. And given how prideful the council was, letting them back would likely not have happened no matter how much they begged.
    • More to the point, consider how dreadful it was for Thomasin: Cast out from friends and neighbors because of her father's insistence on preaching doctrine that contradicted the church's, she watches as her father's failure as a hunter and a farmer slowly dooms her family. Then, everyone in her family (except Caleb) turns against her, goes mad, and then even her mother tries to murder her, before dying and leaving her all alone, still an outcast. It's no wonder the ending played out as it did...
  • The whole ending which shows Thomasin gradually becoming a witch and making a deal Black Phillip in his true form. Given that her whole family is dead and she's now lost in isolated woods far away from civilization with the risk of starving to dead, she has no other choice.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report