(Review originally written at 28 April 2007)

This movie is a great achievement when it comes down to the technical aspects of the movie. The movie is visually a great one but story-wise not an entirely successful one.

Its visuals are truly the thing that makes this movie such a remarkable piece of work. The movie is nicely put together with the use of drawn pictures from books, miniatures and life action. To be honest, the slide-show and miniature elements were often more effective and impressive and interesting to watch than the life action sequences with actors. Nevertheless, the movie also features some great looking costumes and make-up effects. Especially the devil looks terrific, though he also looks about as formulaic as can be but that maybe also is the beauty of it.

In the beginning the movie still shows a good balance between the 'slide-show elements' of the storytelling and its life-action sequences. The movie remains almost entirely on its visuals. The movie feels like a history book that is being read to you, complete with fantasy and nightmare like images. However toward the ending the movie almost entirely becomes life-action, which really isn't the movie its strongest point. The story and sequences are often overlong and also quite confusing to follow. Story-wise the movie isn't always the easiest one to follow, since its visuals also makes sure that this movie always has a nightmarish, strange and certainly unique feeling all over it, that provide the movie with some beautiful but also strange and difficult to understand and follow, moments.

At first the movie seems to be a sort of documentary like telling of witchcraft through the ages. However toward the end it becomes more and more obvious that this movie is way more than that, as it begins to show parallels between the middle ages and modern life, mainly regarding the position of women and treatment of mental states and such. So the movie also makes a clear- and thought provoking statement and you can actually wonder to yourself what has changed between 1922 and this present day, regarding all those subjects. Parelles between events in this movie and modern day life and society can still be drawn, which is both interesting but also shocking to note.

A great to watch and also interesting movie regarding the subject of witchcraft, that is still being considered to be one of the most ultimate resources on the subject and inspired many, later film-makers.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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