Witchfinder General (1968)

December 9, 2017

Fearter rating: 5/10 

If it sinks it's a good movie, if it floats it's rubbish. And look what's just bobbed to the surface... 

 

Review (no spoilers) 

This movie was called "The Conqueror Worm" in the U.S.

 

Back in the day when hygiene, mercy and logic hadn't been invented, we had people who went around accusing others of witchcraft. And where there's blame, there's a claim - which is where our witchfinder character comes in. 

 

The witchfinder's job is to find out if the accused is actually a witch. There were various methods to do this, each more moronically stupid and cruel than the last. Naively I thought this topic would make for a good horror movie, but this film shot that idea down in flames. 

 

This is an old movie, but that's no excuse. It's tedious at times and just dull in others. The acting is nothing great and the movie feels a bit cheap. There are too many long, boring conversations and lots of unnecessary horse riding. 

 

The movie misses a trick (pun alert) by not exploring the history and reasoning of the time which would give great depth and a terrifying insight into this part of history. It glosses over the political, religious and social circumstances that created this breeding ground of hate and suspicion and instead focuses on Vincent Price looking majestic on horseback. It gives a brief nod to the civil war which was destroying the country and people within it - but only very timidly.   

 

There are a few good moments in the film and the ending was good enough to make me raise my eyebrows from their disgruntled downward position.

 

All in all it this movie was a let down and isn't worth watching. Maybe I was expecting too much. But you'd have to have a pretty low bar for this to exceed your expectations. 

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