In July and August the Fantasia International Film Festival brings joy to Montreal film fans, and those who travel here, from far and wide, for that special Fantasia experience. Hors-festival, Fantasia also presents films at Cinéma du Parc on the third Thursday of the month. The Fantasia selection for February 18, 2016, the horror film The Witch, has been sold out since some time last week. That’s too bad for those who did not buy tickets in advance, because you couldn’t find a more enthusiastic group to watch a film with. Oh, well!
Montrealers can catch The Witch, in the original English, or dubbed into French, at various branches of the Cineplex Odeon chain, starting on Friday, February 19. In the downtown area, that means the Quartier Latin and ScotiaBank cinemas.
The Witch has attracted lots of attention since its first screening at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It won the Directing Award at Sundance, First Feature Competition at the the 2015 London Film festival, Horror Jury Prize at the 2015 Austin Fantastic Fest Best Feature at the 2015 New Hampshire Film Festival. It’s also the “Most Anticipated of 2016” according to the Indiewire Critics’ Poll.
The film is set in New England of the 1630s. A family of recent immigrants is living on the edge of some scary woods. Life is is already very difficult, and when the youngest child, who’s just a baby, disappears under mysterious circumstances, things spiral downhill from there and family members turn on each other. Director Robert Eggers spent several years researching the era.