I like to start each list off with a bang and usually pick one of my favorite horror flicks from the previous year. This year it was an easy choice with The Witch. I don’t even know where to start when it comes to this amazing experience. Movies simply don’t come around like this very often so you have to relish in them when they do. Even though it was released wide earlier this year, this haunting film has been percolating within me for much longer. I was lucky enough to see the world premiere of this at the Sundance Film Festival back in January of 2015. No fanfare. No previous opinions or reviews. Nothing. Just thrown right in, bathed in darkness. And it rocked my world. The Witch is a period piece that takes place in Colonial America during the early 1600’s, right at the beginning of all the witch fears. One family moves out of their inhabited settlement and into the solitary woods. Uh oh, you just know it’s not going to go well. When their infant baby goes missing (in a horrific scene), they enter the dark surrounding woods in search of it. It’s here that the witch hysteria begins, and it slowly starts to unravel the entire family. I do not want to give away anything else away since you need to experience this for yourself. But it’s incredible. In my opinion this movie was horribly mis-marketed when it came out. It made people think it was a scare a minute shockfest. It’s SO not. It is extremely slow paced. It lets the dread slowly and masterfully build. It’s less downright scary, and more unnerving and unsettling. I’d call it more “spooky.” From minute one, you forget you’re watching a movie and are simply living in their reality. The authenticity of the characters, the speech, the costumes, the setting, everything makes you feel like you’re right there with them. It’s masterfully directed so it’s no wonder it won the directing award at Sundance. The cast is phenomenal. You’ll recognize a few from Game of Thrones. *On a personal side note, the father in the film played by Ralph Ineson (who is INCREDIBLE), also plays the main villain in my upcoming movie Category 5. I geeked out when he was cast because after you watch this movie, you’ll be in awe of him as well. Anyway, I loved The Witch. Loved, loved, loved. I think it’s an amazing achievement not just for a horror movie, but for any movie. Everyone should see this one. Let yourself go and enjoy the world of Black Phillip… Black Phillip, king of all.