Kirk Hammett Reviews "The VVITCH"
Kirk Hammett reviews the movie "The Witch" for his Fear FestEvil horror movie blog.
Kirk Hammett, Metallica, The Witch, The VVitch, Movie Review, Horror, Blog,
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Kirk Hammett Reviews “The VVITCH”

Kirk Hammett Reviews The Witch

23 Jun Kirk Hammett Reviews “The VVITCH”


I finally saw The VVitch, and boy, I loved it!

For me, one of it’s greatest qualities are the very faithful (and organically creepy) references to covens, and believe me there are plenty of references to them, but the GREATEST one (and be warned those of you who have not yet seen the film, this is a spoiler!) is the coven at the end. There are numerous artistic renditions of what a witch’s coven looks like, but Goya’s “Witches’ Sabbath” painting from 1798 piece pretty much captures what The VVitch is aiming at.

Witches Sabbath

Witches’ Sabbath, 1797-98. Francisco Goya.

At the end of the film, when you see the fire and her walking through the forest, and then all the other witches, I thought ‘oh my God, they’re gonna do it. They’re gonna re-create that classic ‘witches coven black mass’ that artists like Goya have done for centuries, in living color, in full action!’ And when the witches started flying up, I just thought ‘YESSSSS! PERFECT!’ It was genuinely exciting to see it done so well.

The Witch Kirk Hammett

The VVITCH (2015)

In fact, The VVitch was artful to the degree that I thought whoever made this film really has the aesthetic down so well that their research must’ve been phenomenal. To strike that certain chord, to capture that certain atmosphere, that mood, that feeling. I love the dialogue, and I love how they talked in the old English dialect. I had to turn the sub-titles on just to make sure I was catching everything right! But I have to say, when you actually see the young witch in the movie, when they slowed it down and made it otherworldly, for some reason it reminded me of the 1910 Frankenstein and what surviving footage there is of that. When you finally see the monster in that film, it was THE 1910 version of true horror, the grotesque, and it was a sight back then.

1910 Frankenstein

Frankenstein (1910)

When I saw the younger version of the witch in this film, it had the same sort of drama and tone. Maybe it was because I saw a similarity in the actress who played the witch and the actor who played the 1910 Frankenstein? I don’t know. But anyway, back to The VVitch, and the framing of everything in the film was fantastic! The colors, the tone, it felt really feral and there was a despair, emptiness and lack of hope which really came across so powerfully.

And I have to say…Black Philip! What a name, Black Philip. I’ve owned goats, and they have the most satanic sideways eyes man, just incredible…

The VVITCH (2016)

The VVITCH (2016)

…to sidetrack for a moment, I love the end of Rosemary’s Baby where you see the baby and someone says ‘he has his father’s eyes!’ I love that!…

…anyway, goats are also very playful and have a great sense of humor believe it or not, like we see in The VVitch when Black Philip totally rams the father. I liked to find my goat’s blind spot then try to sneak up and playfully grab his horns, but he’d always see me and buck up like he was going to ram me. So then I’d shout ‘BUDDY!’ – because his name was Buddy! – (I had two goats, one called Jesus and the other called Buddy) then he’d come back down again and bay. Buddy, who was a grey and white two-horned goat by the way, loved me because I would feed him all the rotting fruits and vegetables, so I had a great relationship with him. Sadly, Jesus was killed by a mountain lion and died pretty young, but Buddy was around for a long time. Goats are very much their own creatures; they do what they want, eat what they want and are seemingly indestructible. I watched Buddy try eat a coke can once, and had to literally wrestle the damn thing out of his mouth.

SO, getting back to the movie, seeing Black Philip in all his glory made me really miss Buddy, and the way Black Philip plays with the kids in the film was something I could totally relate with! Goats are fun to run and play with, because they run for 30 feet and suddenly just stop dead in their tracks. They wait until you get closer and then they run and top 30 more feet down the way. So Black Philip, amazing, and The VVitch is most certainly one of the best period pieces I’ve seen in horror.

Soon after watching The VVitch, I sat and started thinking about some great period piece horror films. The obvious one which might feel similar and springs to mind, is The Wicker Man, but that isn’t really a period piece due to it’s time placement being of the ‘modern’ day (the era when it was made which was the early ‘70s, 1973 to be precise). So then I got to Picnic At Hanging Rock, which was about some private school girls going missing during an outdoor-ed style picnic in 1900, there’s The Crucible, and Ken Russell’s The Devils is one for sure, dealing with a 17th century Catholic priest who is executed for witchcraft and the movie also has a hunch-backed sexually repressed nun played by Vanessa Redgrave…when she gives head to Jesus on the cross…!…Ken Russell is a hero in my book just for filming that alone, for going there in the name of art, his art!

The Devils

The Devils (1971)

There haven’t been very many other great films about witches or the whole Puritan/Pilgrim era that spring to mind (which is strange because that era seems like such a rich vein for horror), but one that is mandatory viewing is Vincent Prices’ Witchfinder General, where Price plays witch hunter Matthew Price who is murderous and savage in his pursuit of witches! There’s also To The Devil A Daughter, starring Christopher Lee and Natassja Kinski which deals with saving the soul of a girl from a group of satanists, so it’s not actually a witch movie after all come to think of it!

Maybe we are just too comfortable with witches in modern culture for them to be a focus of horror for us in movies today. Every Halloween there are innumerable people dressed as witches, and many of them are informed by the witch from Wizard Of Oz, Margaret Hamilton. It has always been one of my favorites, and it’s no surprise to me that her portrayal has predominantly been what witches are in society’s eyes.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) Witch

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

By the way, perhaps it’s because I was just talking about Witchfinder General, but I feel like talking about how great Vincent Price was right now…OK, I’ll wait until next time!

See you then,

Kirk Hammett Signature

  • Jeff Yeager
    Posted at 07:34h, 24 June

    Hammett goats! Love it!

  • Armando Marquez
    Posted at 07:54h, 24 June

    I watch the movie but I didn’t finish it I have to finish it now but with the subtitles on because it’s kinda hard watching it that way lol now back to practice the solos on the 4 horseman !

  • Bob O'Rourke
    Posted at 07:58h, 24 June

    Fuck yeah Kirk! I knew you’d dig this movie! Also, HUGE props for mentioning Witchfinder General/Conqueror Worm…one of Vincent Price’s best roles. And yeah, Black Philip rules! Cheers!

  • Rene Rodriguez
    Posted at 07:59h, 24 June

    I really loved the VVItch too. It was one of the best films I’ve seen all year. To say that it gave me chills at the end is an understatement. Loved it

  • mostafa fawzy
    Posted at 08:07h, 24 June

    love it \m/

  • Tgormania
    Posted at 08:10h, 24 June

    I thought it was a great movie. Might have to watch it again.

  • Cappy Jay
    Posted at 08:15h, 24 June

    Thanks Kirk, I’ll have to check that movie out! And I have a friend that owns a couple pygmy goats and I love how they head butt you and run around and climb things.

  • DC
    Posted at 08:17h, 24 June

    Agreed. As a straight fwd Horror flic, not super scary. but a BRILLIANT period piece.

  • David Jaron
    Posted at 08:26h, 24 June

    I love the retards on Insta telling Kirk to put the link in his profile. It’s already in his profile! And his blog has been in the same place for months now. The internet always reminds me how dumb people are.

  • jorge a. hernández barba
    Posted at 08:34h, 24 June

    Kirk Hammett i´m such a huge fan of your music, but the way you write about movies is inspiring. I have my own blog called ”

    No doubt you love horror films but all your references and the knowledge behind every comment is awesome.
    I loved the film and visually its iconic. You should get a Black Philip Guitar ! #FearFestEvil

    • Kelvin
      Posted at 09:12h, 24 June

      One of the best things about Kirk’s blog is his knowledge that goes like 6 layers deep beyond the initial comment. I rarely see it elsewhere, and it has that Wikipedia effect where he references something and I end up learning about new movies (or in case – art) I had no idea about previously. Dude doesn’t get enough credit for what he brings to the horror world. Kirk is the REAL DEAL for what Zombie portrays himself to be.

  • Elias
    Posted at 08:54h, 24 June

    I loved your goats history hahahaha
    The VVITCH it’s an awesome movie, I hope you write post like this more often!

    Cheers Kirk

  • Kelly Trusdale
    Posted at 09:07h, 24 June

    We need a pic of Kirk and the goats!

  • Kelvin
    Posted at 09:09h, 24 June

    Loved the movie, but not at first. I expected it to be really scary and it’s not. Once I shifted gears for what the movie actually is, I enjoyed and then really loved it as the days passed and I thought about it more and more. Those who don’t like it are certainly entitled to their opinion, but I feel like their reaction is due to typically liking gore porn or other dumbed down stories in this genre.

  • Salvo
    Posted at 09:31h, 24 June

    My favourite horror movie of the last ten years i guess…
    Fantastic movie! Great review!! \m/

  • Christofer "Totto" Törnblom
    Posted at 11:32h, 24 June

    VVITCH(2015) is clearly, allready one of the classics. I’ve had this thing for history, mysticism… for as long as I can remember. This movie, together with Omen, The Exorcist and such are pure art.

  • nina Doum
    Posted at 11:38h, 24 June

    I’m impressed! A must!
    Thank u!

  • Viktor Ferenczy
    Posted at 11:55h, 24 June

    It is a great movie, but it just makes me so sad. How the family perishes one by one is way too bleak for me to watch. It is far from an entertainment.

  • Guillaume R
    Posted at 14:49h, 24 June

    I think the witch is pure genious it’s main quality being the performances, it is rare to see children act like this, the scene of Caleb’s death during his short but intense exorcism froze me in front of my screen, it is the performance, the filming and the editing.
    I think the editing is what gives the movie it’s hopeless tone (as mentioned) because it brakes the rules of rhythm where you should feel some kind of a break or a pause after something intense such as a struggle. Same goes for the story where the family just loses a child after another and you got your share of despair for the year.
    The movie is terrifying in my opinion, I’m sure the accuracy about witches and covents has something to do with it even though I don’t know much about it your article sure did “fueled” my curiosity.

  • Dianna
    Posted at 00:01h, 25 June

    What a fun read! I’m blown away (haha!) that Vanessa Redgrave gave Jesus a blowjob on the cross in The Devils. I need to see that. It made me laugh at the “sexually repressed nun” reference. The Vvitch sounds very interesting after reading your excitement about it. I like witch movies. I love the creep factor. I might have to check that out. Loved your goat story. That’s so cool that you used to own a couple. They are too funny! I love all the YouTube videos of baby goats playing. I have a neighbor who has one and he gets out and comes to visit. He’s just like a dog! I always have to walk him back home. Haha! Thanks for the fun read! Oh, and I love seeing the next Lil’ Kirk sighting! 🙂

  • Noelle F
    Posted at 00:24h, 25 June

    Killer analysis of the movie, Kirk! Great point of view! I thought this movie was fantastic because you can perfectly capture that “you must not sin/conservative” atmosphere, that uptight energy between the members of the family caused by their obsession for the word of God, those puritans dialogues (all hail that script), the acting is terrific! (those actors had to learn how to speak in the biblical old english, and it sounds so natural). All of that is spectacular, the director was a genius recreating time and space! love it! it’s so well done! But when I saw it I was expecting to get scared and see rituals, sacrifices, blood and guts for everyone, sadly that didn’t happened, ha! But anyway, it’s a GREAT movie! Now that you touched on the subject of witches, witchcraft and all that, have you ever seen American Horror Story: Coven? the first time someone told me about this tv show I thought: oh another crap-type-Twight series for teens! But after seing Kathy Bates as Madame LaLaurie and Angela Bassett as Marie Laveau, hats off! Masterpiece! Ok, enough talking/writting! I won’t dwell on this anymore! One more thing, there was a picture on the internet of you and one of your goats and that creature looked so adorable!

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  • Ruben Contreras
    Posted at 09:23h, 25 June

    Just watched The VVitch the other night! The mom totally lost it!

  • DudeKillerBoy
    Posted at 11:54h, 25 June

    Amazing review from the best symbolic horror movie from last decade!

    Now waiting for your “The Conjuring 2” review.

  • Marc Restivo
    Posted at 00:37h, 12 July

    Hey Kirk, hope you’re having a fun summer. I saw the Vvitch a while back in an empty theatre near Annapolis on a real rainy day. I thought it had really great atmosphere; the dim lighting and desolate cinematography gave it a real sense of dread and foreboding, and the Salem-era conflict was pulled off exceptionally well. My problem was that I genuinely couldn’t hear much of the damn thing, the sound quality was lousy, so putting on the subtitles at home is a great future idea. Finally, the ending was insane and extraordinarily creepy like you said! It really made the movie a classic in my eyes. Anyway, can’t wait to hear your informed take on Vincent Price 🙂

  • Vayolet
    Posted at 03:39h, 05 August

    I hope this question will not you have been asked too many times, I do not want to bore you. I would like to know what you think about the existence of ghosts, zombies, vampires, devils, evil creatures. According to my religion is always and only the same thing: Satan and his adopted children who, disguised cleverly deceive the people to ruin them and bring them to destruction. What do you think they are? Legends? Projections of human fears? Parnormali cases? energies of the universe? What else?
    Kind regrads,

  • Vayolet
    Posted at 03:40h, 05 August

    I hope this question will not you have been asked too many times, I do not want to bore you. I would like to know what you think about the existence of ghosts, zombies, vampires, devils, evil creatures. According to my religion is always and only the same thing: Satan and his adopted children who, disguised cleverly deceive the people to ruin them and bring them to destruction. What do you think they are? Legends? Projections of human fears? Parnormali cases? energies of the universe? What else?

  • Jason Ferguson
    Posted at 11:09h, 24 August

    Is this blog going to continue? I know Kirk has been busy with the album and family life but really enjoyed his unique take on everything. The horror blogs are just as good as his blog on Bowie, which was a special insight we usually don’t see. It reminds me of how cool Kirk and James’ Instagrams were before “everyone” found it and turned the comments section into a wasteland. Anyway, thanks for all the effort you put into connecting with fans — we (or I) really appreciate it!!

  • Sven Tylebrink
    Posted at 11:01h, 30 August

    Great blog! I would like to hear what you think about the remake of IT that is being filmed right now. I think it will be fantastic if they follow the book. Love the atmosphere in the 1990 mini series, but this might become even better. I’ve heard they will make a remake of the stand aswell.

  • Julie McIntyre
    Posted at 14:10h, 30 August

    Loved the movie!
    The period clothing, language, and religious tones were perfectly alluring to bring me in and held me there waiting for the evil to arrive.
    Black Philip reminded me of my grandmother’s neighbors goat.
    I would feed him through the fence and he would ram it wanting more. Then one day he was gone and his pelt was nailed to the barn.
    Freaked me out!

  • Clinton Wayne Wilson
    Posted at 08:56h, 05 January

    Kirk, I agree. Witches are kind of a forgotten genre. This was a great movie, moody and suffocating w/good acting. The end were she floats up in the air was the best ending I’ve seen in awhile. I’m new to your site and wondered what you thought of “It Follows” and the Dreyer film “Vampyr”? also, Dan Simmons book “A Winter Haunting” is excellent.

  • Clinton Wayne Wilson
    Posted at 08:59h, 05 January

    Just watched Vincent Price in “The Last Man On Earth”, pretty cool version of the Matheson classic.

  • Becca
    Posted at 11:16h, 28 March

    Everything about you is ultra cool. Thank you for your wonderful music and guitar riffs Kirk Hammett. I read or saw on a video something about you being an introvert…I am as well and anti-social for the most part. Big ups to you and keep rockin’ \m/

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