I was tempted to just post the entire film instead of a single clip because the whole thing is so goddamned perfect from start to finish. Robert Eggers has got to be a science experiment. I just don’t understand how he (and Ari Aster and David Robert Mitchell and Jennifer Kent) can step from oblivion fully baked and make films like The Witch and Hereditary and It Follows and The Babadook, respectively. I don’t care where they came from. I’m just glad they’re here.
Robert Eggers is a consummate researcher. Apparently, he usually starts the research process before actually deciding what kind of story he wants to tell, and writes as he digs deeper. He works hard to ensure that the end product is as close to authentic for that time period as possible, even basing decisions re: filming techniques on what was available at the time, or what era a story like this might have been told in.
The results thus far have been two of the best Horror films to have come out in the last decade. Everybody involved — including director Robert Eggers and two leads Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe — is firing on all cylinders here. Both actors were dragged through Hell during filming and delivered career defining performances. I was shocked to see neither received an Oscar nod, but films in this genre are rarely recognized.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a black-and-white film look so glorious, so rich, so textured. Virtually every shot is framed to perfection and feels like you’re watching the film through a portal to the 1920s, all with an aspect ratio that’s nearly perfectly square (1.19:1). The only film I can think of that comes close (and is itself nearly perfect) is Ida (2013), which is 1.37:1.