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Set in the colonial era, specifically the 1630s, this tale follows a settler family comprised of patriarch William (Ralph Ineson), his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie), và their five children as they adjust to lớn life away from their Puritan colony. As if rationing food and water, tending to their livestock, setting up sufficient lodging, and, of course, dealing with the mental strain of isolation wasn"t enough, the family soon find themselves targeted by mysterious, evil forces lurking deep in the nearby woods.
All of these factors combine khổng lồ tell an intriguing & incredibly chất lượng story that"ll surely have you sleeping with the lights on, culminating in a finale that"s equally as creepy as it is confusing. Here"s a breakdown of what exactly the ending of The Witch means, và how the movie built up to lớn its breathtaking conclusion.
Throughout The Witch"s story, religion plays a vital role and helps set the stage for both its climax & resolution. First & foremost, the opening scene depicts the family"s exile from their Puritan settlement on grounds of William committing "the sin of prideful conceit", thus kicking off their struggles away from society in the middle of the wilderness. However, William isn"t the only one of them who broke their religious tenets, which becomes more apparent as the family is driven further & further over the edge. Almost every member of the family, aside from Samuel the infant, succumbs to the temptation of one of the Seven Deadly Sins (not khổng lồ be confused with the anime series).
As mentioned before, William"s pride gets the best of him as he tries, & struggles, khổng lồ keep his loved ones alive but refuses lớn accept his shortcomings. Their Billy goat, đen Phillip (more on him later), brutally gores him to lớn death, subsequently burying him under a pile of chopped logs. Katherine, meanwhile, allows her deranged envy of her daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) khổng lồ poison her mind. She assaults her physically, but the result is a gruesome death courtesy of Thomasin, who defends herself with a bill hook.
As for the children, the eldest son, Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) represents lust, as he constantly ogles Thomasin, và takes his final breath shortly after the witch seduces him in the forest. The twins, Mercy (Ellie Granger) & Jonas (Lucas Dawson), die off-screen, but their attitudes throughout the film still place them within the Seven Deadly Sins. Mercy, ever ruthless toward Thomasin after she played a cruel joke on her, first implied she was a witch, using her wrath khổng lồ turn the family against her. Jonas, on the other hand, embodies sloth, as he rarely contributes anything to the homestead and prefers khổng lồ laze around and chat with black Phillip rather than vì chưng any legwork.
But what of Thomasin? Which sin does she embody?
Since her connection to lớn her faith is a bit more complex than the rest of her family, she is the odd person out in this scenario. She remains as such for the majority of the movie"s runtime, showing her allegiance to God from the start. Early on, she prays for forgiveness for her previous lack of devotion to lớn Him và for good fortune as her family embarks on the next chapter of their lives. In true Puritan fashion, she"s aware of her imperfections and seeks out some kind of judgment for it, which is something that her family doesn"t exactly vì chưng in the face of their transgressions.
Despite their clear attempts to look more in-tune with their faith than they truly are, William, Katherine, Caleb, Mercy, & Jonas never see the error of their ways và reconcile their misdeeds. Ironically enough, they continually look upon Thomasin as the real sinner of the family và blame her for their perpetual misfortunes, including the constant death they face. In doing so, they embrace the darker aspects of their characters, và allow Satan to lớn take hold, taking their lives away — hence why Thomasin is the last of them standing, once the twisted entity reveals his true khung in the film"s closing moments.
With her family picked off one by one & nowhere else lớn turn, Thomasin is presented with an offer she would be hard-pressed to lớn turn down: Go off and live a delicious life of luxury and youth in a witch coven, forever indebted khổng lồ the Devil, who was lurking in the background as black Phillip all along, or die alone in the New England wilderness. She takes the former, which may seem like an out-of-character choice for this devout Christian to make, but given everything she faced up lớn that point, it makes total sense.
For her whole life, even as her family unit fell to lớn ruins, Thomasin remained loyal khổng lồ her religious inclinations và never once deviated from them. She proved herself the holiest of her kin, as she never betrayed any of them or put them in any intentional danger. Even still, none of that mattered to them, as they repeatedly verbally và physically abused her and used their faith against her, simultaneously playing ignorant lớn their own flaws. The God she prayed to never showed her a light at the over of the tunnel, so why stay on that path?
In the end, Thomasin put her name in Satan"s book, surrendering herself to lớn his ranks & renouncing her old ways. As she joins to Witches" Sabbath, she finds great joy và comfort in her decision, levitating above the burning remains of her siblings in a display of morbid happiness. At last, she made a conscious choice for her own good, & became totally không tính tiền of her religious, familial, và societal bonds.
It"s certainly not a happy ending (although Anya Taylor-Joy would disagree, via Kill Screen), nor does it answer all of the audience"s burning questions. But it is a fitting cap khổng lồ an otherwise stellar horror masterwork. The Witch is yet another fine sản phẩm from A24 Films, retaining its high unique up to lớn the very end, certainly earning its reputation as one of the modern era"s most psychologically tasking films.