I doubt I need tell anybody of my fondness for The Witch, a movie I would not shut up about back in 2016, when it landed in theaters, and that I have not really shut up about since. (FYI: I have another piece that’s actually directly about The Witch coming soon, so…further bulletins as events warrant!)
So, on watching Lukas Feigelfeld’s Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse, I had reason to revisit The Witch* as a comparison point, because much as I hate to draw direct lines between movie A and movie B, even in cases as obvious as this, it can’t be helped. One, lots of reviewers will probably draw the same comparison if they haven’t already. Two, drawing the comparison doesn’t mean leaving the one-to-one relationship between these films alone. There are, after all, other movies that inform The Witch, just as there are other movies that inform Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse, which I’ll from now on just refer to as Hagazussa.
Basically, I can’t articulate enough how good Hagazussa is, and how unique Feigelfeld’s vision is to him. This is a much more deliberate film designed for just a single performance, that of lead actress Aleksandra Cwen; the movie’s pace and setting end up putting a ton of emphasis on her work. She carries the thing. Also: The thing is super duper nauseating in places. Fair warning.
You can read the full review over at Paste Magazine.
*Again, I’ve got another piece coming. Feels like I should stress that again.