Monday, April 14, 2008

16. Häxan - 1922

Director: Benjamin Christensen

Synopsis: Pseudo-documentary about witchcraft through the ages.

Review: This starts out with a synopsis of what people in the middle ages thought of the devil and witchcraft. There's a lot of "Here is a picture. Note the following things about the picture." It's pretty boring honestly.

The rest of the movie is a fictional story about a witch. Essentially it follows a few witches from them making potions to their trial. It takes a somewhat sympathetic view on how women were baselessly tortured after being accused of witchcraft. This is where the movie takes off because it's where the shock value kicks in (the still above is a woman literally giving birth to a demon spawned by Satan).

I think this movie really had a lot of great staging and special effects (the coins flying away in reverse was probably impressive at the time). I think it took an interesting look at mental illness even if it was not entirely correct. It also tried to put us in the shoes of what it might feel like to be accused of witchcraft. All that stuff is nice, but I really loved the shock value and portrayals of the devil. So, here are my top five listed from least favorite to favorite:
05. The devil making out with a witch
04. Literally beating a nun over the head with a club03. A line of women literally kissing his butt

02. Satan playing some sort of bagpipe/saxophone hybrid.

I could not guess what this is supposed to mean01. The devil churning butter.

Score: 7/10

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