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.
13 Terrifyingly Good Horror TV Shows: From Ryan Murphy's 'Scream Queens' to 'Twilight Zone'
"The Twilight Zone" (1959)
Rod Sterling's anthology "The Twilight Zone" set the standard for eerie on television during its run from 1959 to 1964. The series was revived once in 1985 for CBS and again in 2002 for UPN.
"Tales From the Crypt" (1989)
Another anthology series, "Tales From the Crypt" ran on HBO for seven seasons between 1989 and 1996, during which time it became famous for its wisecracking host, The Crypt Keeper, voiced by John Kassir.
"The X-Files" (1993)
Spanning nine seasons, Fox's "The X-Files" was revived in 2008 for a film, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" and for a six-episode event series in 2016.
Each episode of Showtime's anthology horror series was directed by a different one of creator Mick Garris' director friends. The series featured episodes from John Carpenter, Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper.
"Harper's Island" (2009)
"Harper's Island" received disappointing ratings upon its premiere in 2009, but the series had its die-hard fans. Viewers were encouraged to play along and try to solve the show's central mystery as more and more characters were killed off each week.
Ryan Murphy's FX series follows in the tradition of horror anthology TV series, with the same cast playing different characters in a different story each season. Repertory player Jessica Lange bowed out for the fifth season, but Matt Bomer and Lady Gaga joined returning players Sarah Paulson and Emma Roberts for "American Horror Story: Hotel."
Showtime's period horror drama "Penny Dreadful," which takes its name from a type of cheap sensationalist fiction published in 19th-century Britain, adapts its characters from classic works of fiction, including Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and Bram Stoker's "Dracula."