Sundance darling “The Witch” is slowly showing herself, thanks to the first trailer for Robert Eggers’ bleak thriller that captivated critics in January.
With a large cast of unknowns playing out a vague string of unfortunate events, the clip still delivers in creating an atmosphere in which supernatural forces — and some of man’s own demons — conspire to destroy a clan of Massachusetts settlers in the 1630s.
The perfectly puritanical Anya Taylor-Joy plays this universe’s version of an ingenue, blamed for the disappearance of a newborn baby. Genre tropes like possessed animals follow, as the family’s zealot patriarch grows ever suspicious of the girl — an obvious precursor to the witch hunts that would plague the decades to come across the Northeast corridor.
A24 and DirecTV will partner to release the film, with DirecTV getting a 30-day exhibition window for some 20 million customers prior to the theatrical debut.
“‘The Witch’ is one of the most fascinating and accomplished debut features we have ever seen. We are honored that we get to say we released the very first Robert Eggers film, knowing this is the beginning of many great things he has in store for all of us,” the distributors said in a joint statement when they scooped the film earlier this year.