The hot Sundance hit from 2015 THE WITCH is soon poised to open nationwide, and the hype machine is working overtime. The fledgling distributor A24 (which got lucky in its early days with arthouse-mainstream crossover faves like SPRING BREAKERS) is doing some naughty publicity, like this meme generator that lets you define evil in your own way (and got the ball rolling with pre-Iowa Caucus shots of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz). In other exciting and odd news, many horror websites including Scared Stiff Reviews report that the distributor is also collaborating with The Satanic Temple to offer advance screenings in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Austin, TX. The organization released an articulate, thoughtful statement about the film, saying in part:
The film is set in Colonial New England, so the presence of themes relating to the devil and satnism is appropriate but also a bit strange (since we all know there was not really anything approaching witchcraft, of the historical or nouveau variety, actually happening in Salem Village or anywhere else in the New World). But this is the movies, folks! Pushing the satanic angle makes good sense to attract horror fans, and also create controversy, cuz you KNOW the pagan community will get up in arms about this. Your humble Media Witch has seen it all before and is gonna wait patiently in the wings and keep bringing you more information, possibly interviews and certainly a review when the time comes. Watch this space.
“We are empowered by the narrative of The Witch: a story of pathological pride, old-world religious paradigms, and an outsider who grabs persecution by the horns. Efforts to oppress and demonize the heretic prove to be a path to destruction. The witch does not burn but rises up in the night.”