The Satanic Temple (not to be confused with the Church of Satan) is many things: a crusader of women's reproductive rights, a leader in advocating the advancement of science and reason, and perhaps most unexpectedly, a newly established connoisseur of great cinema. In a surprising move that served only to solidify its position as being woke af, the Temple announced Monday that it has partnered with A24 to host multiple screenings of the production company's critical horror darling The Witch.
The Witch, a movie that you should absolutely see, follows an exiled Puritan family in 17th-century New England as they traverse the wilderness away from the safety of their settlement. As they attempt to adjust to their new surroundings, they must survive both the elements and the dark forces that lurk in a neighboring forest. The film was researched, written, and directed by Robert Eggers, who dug deep into recorded folklore and witch stories of the same period to develop the film.
Without giving too much away, it's not difficult to understand what might appeal to the Satanic Temple in terms of the film's thematic elements and the repressive religious plight of its protagonist Thomasin, played by the immensely talented Anya Taylor-Joy. Jex Blackmore, National Spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, shared the news in a statement that heralded the film as "not only a powerful cinematic experience, but also an impressive presentation of Satanic insight that will inform contemporary discussion of religious experience." It's lit.
As Satanists, we are ever mindful of the plight of women and outsiders throughout history who suffered under the hammer of theocracy and yet fought to empower themselves. This film provides context to a period of American history that is too often fetishized by those seeking to wield this hammer once again.
While the patriarchy makes witches of only the most socially vulnerable members of society, Eggers’ film refuses to construct a victim narrative. Instead it features a declaration of feminine independence that both provokes puritanical America and inspires a tradition of spiritual transgression. We are empowered by the narrative of The Witch: a story of pathological pride, old-world religious paradigms, and an outsider who grabs persecution by the horns. Efforts to oppress and demonize the heretic prove to be a path to destruction. The witch does not burn but rises up in the night.
According to Scared Stiff Reviews, the Satanic Temple will begin hosting advance screenings of The Witch on Feb. 10 in New York City ahead of its official Feb. 19 release date. Additional screenings will also take place in Austin, Detroit, and Los Angeles. For more information, head here.