It is, as I alluded to earlier, unforgiving to the way films are consumed now, and a low CinemaScore and online user ratings are indicative of the amount of backlash surely coming the way of this highly authentic portrayal of one 17th century New England family, and one very talented casting agent. How Eggers was able to find some of the most beautiful and haunted actors in existence and get them to accomplish astounding verbal and emotional feats without so much as a momentary wink at the viewer is something to be lauded. There are none of the telltale blemishes of "low budget horror" here, and when working with highly authentic and sometimes totally inscrutable period dialogue, the whole cast (children included) are completely game. There are few if any "jump scares" or moments of show off direction (this isn't It Follows, the camera isn't rotating around just because, and music isn't swelling just to swell), instead it's all about anticipation and emotionless lingering on very upsetting and disturbing ideas and images. The sorts of things that will surely be giving me a fresh set of nightmares.
Oh, and get ready to see a ton of Anya Taylor-Joy - she is the spitting image of a young Michelle Williams and, if this film is any indication, just as talented. This absolutely could be as propulsive for her as, say, Winter's Bone was for Jennifer Lawrence. And it should be.