The Witch is set in New England around 1630, about 60 years before the Salem witch trials of 1692, and follows a Puritan farmer and his family who have been exiled to live in the wilderness. Weird events start happening as soon as they arrive, including the disappearance of one child and the apparent evil possession of another. One of their daughters, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), is then accused of practicing witchcraft, which she denies, and the family must come face to face with evil and ruin.
This is Taylor-Joy’s first major role on the big screen, and Eggers’ first credit as either director or writer on a feature film. Previously most of his credits have come from production design.
Among other actors in either leading or supporting roles are Ralph Ineson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Kate Dickie (Prometheus), Harvey Scrimshaw (Oranges and Sunshine), Ellie Grainger, and Lucas Dawson.
The film was met with critical acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, including receiving the Best Director Prize for Eggers in the US Narrative Competition.
The Witch will be opening in theaters alongside Timur Bekmambetov’s remake of Ben-Hur.