This insidiously eerie debut from writer-director Robert Eggers (which earned him the Best Director award at Sundance) is a gripping historical horror-thriller hybrid about sin, paranoia and unfiltered evil in 17th Century New England.
Set several decades before the infamous Salem witch trials of the 1690s, a Puritanical family (led by parents Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie) fresh off the boat from England, having been exiled from their settlement, are forced to make a go of it alone in an isolated area on the outskirts of some truly sinister woods. With the elements taking their toll and food growing scarce, the family are thrown into despair when their newborn baby is snatched while under the care of their oldest child Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy). Did an evil in the wood take their unbaptised child? As their crops start to die, shadowy beings creep around at night, and the family goat starts to produce blood rather than milk, the whole clan begin to turn on one another - leaving them prey to the ancient evil that surrounds them.
This perfectly crafted, historically accurate creep show (complete with antiquated language) is an astonishing exercise in sustained anxiety.