The ‘Nosferatu’ Trailer Finally Made Me Go Back and Watch ‘The Witch’

Stoney finally watched 2015's 'The Witch' after all these years.

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I don’t know if it’s just the SoBros Slack, or if the entire internet has been waiting with bated breath, but the trailer drop for Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu, in theaters this Christmas, has us in a frenzy. For good reason, too. Over the course of his first three films, Eggers has developed quite the reputation for stylistic, slow-burn storytelling that burns into you, branding you, and staying with you for quite some time. You pair that reputation with the daunting task of retelling one of the most influential stories in film history in Nosferatu, and you can’t help but sense a ‘swing for the fences’ attitude that builds anticipation for the release of this film.

I watched The Lighthouse for the first time in 2020 when our resident film critic, Brandon Vick, implored me to watch a little more Robert Pattinson. I was skeptical of his casting as Batman, but Brandon said I really needed to dig into his filmography to see it. Long story short, I did, and now Pattinson is one of my favorite actors in the game. But, The Lighthouse had a profound impact on me. It completely blew me away that Eggers could add so many layers to a story that had essentially only two characters in it! Plus, the dialect…the mood…the vibes, if you will…were immaculate. So, when The Northman dropped in 2022, Brandon reminded me, “hey this is the guy that did The Lighthouse.” For the last couple of years, any time Eggers’ name comes up in conversation, I have had to qualify my opinion with ‘yeah, but I still haven’t seen The Witch,’ his first release in 2015. Seeing that Nosferatu trailer was the kick I needed. I thought of myself a poser…a coward even…that I called myself a fan of Eggers, yet never made the time for his first film. It’s not even like he has an extensive filmography to catch up on. I just never made the time.

But, that changed yesterday. I didn’t have to work overtime at the day job. The yard was mowed. Dinner was going to be easy, so no need for a head start…I had a two-hour window where I could squeeze it in, and I leapt at the opportunity. The Witch fits in line with his other works. For me, I’d slot it right in between – not as good as The Lighthouse, but better than The Northman. Eggers has a knack for atmosphere, unsettling cinematography, using sound to create tension, and telling thought-provoking stories with layer after layer to peel back once the film’s ending has settled within you.

Natural light, authentic architecture and clothing of the era, and the dialect are all examples of Eggers’ meticulous attention to detail as a filmmaker. It’s something I, for one, can’t help but respect. He’s a relentless researcher, and it shows in his craft. All are present in The Witch. I loved the conflict in this movie. Was it as simple as good vs. evil? Was it a cautionary tale of the dangers of isolation? Was it an example of how repression can alienate families? How desperation can impact the human mind? Was it secret desire boiling over? You can take it in a number of directions, and that’s what’s so fascinating about it to me. Not to mention, there’s a goat causing lots of problems in this movie. That’s sick.

I was shocked to see such a low audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. While the critics loved it, fans bombarded it with a 41% score to begin with. Though it’s since risen to 60%, it’s still pretty clear there’s a disconnect between audiences and critics on this one. The sentiment seems to be that this was mis-marketed as a horror film. I can understand the gripe – if you’re sitting down expecting some Blumhouse production, you’re not going to get it. Personally, the biggest reason I watch horror is for the visceral…guttural…feeling of it. I want the rawness. I want the pure fear…the pure emotion. I don’t need some video essay that’s going to have me contemplating the meaning of existence afterwards. I have to be in a mood for either of those movies, and if I watch one expecting the other, sure, maybe I’m going to take it out on the film I just saw. I would encourage people to watch The Witch through a different lens. It’s folklore. It’s history. Jump scares are nowhere to be found.

A good movie can help us escape reality for a bit. A transcendent film feels like a long hard look in the mirror. Eggers has made three transcendent films, and my hope is that he can make it four come Christmas. I guess I’m just a Robert Eggers fan boy now. Look at me out here on these internet streets caping for the guy. Who knew? I’ve written this piece on The Witch. There’s an episode of The Movie Review Rewind Podcast on The Lighthouse dropping in October. Guess I need to write my love letter to The Northman while I’m at it. I’m already giving Nosferatu every Oscar in the book, by the way.

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Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.

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