Momentum Pictures has released the official trailer for its upcoming thriller Witch Hunt. Though it seems the title indicates or hints at the possible plot of the film, the reality of it is far away from what we could imagine. It does involve witches with supernatural powers and social groups and the men of law hunting and executing them, but in a setting we all are familiar with. Imagine if witches existed today and our modern legal system hunts them down, how would things be like? That’s the world Witch Hunt tries to explore.
The film tells the story of a family who is trying to hide two young witches within their house’s walls. They are trying to help them cross borders into Mexico and get some asylum there through an intricate network. However, their plans are thwarted by the sudden vigilance over them by the Bureau of Witchcraft Investigation, a federal organization working on behalf of the U.S. administration, and is responsible for hunting, arrest, and execution of witches.
The trailer depicts sequences of BWI agents trying modern ways to find hints and evidence of witchcraft (such as dropping suspects in water to reveal the ‘Devil’s Mark‘ on them). These scenes not only call backs to the early depictions of witch hunts in classic tales and literature available on the subject. The film implies themes associated with women rights suppression, prejudice, and societal discriminations in its trailers wherein women are deprived of rights, forced to control their abilities without practice or opportunity to use them.
There are groups condemning witches’ existence, there are forceful reveals, there are sympathizers of the kind, and there is a growing war between them. It’s more of a film which delves into the discussions surrounding social biases and a growing revolution around democratic, human rights, therefore reflecting reality through a folklore-based fiction.
Directed by Elle Callahan, an up-and-coming director, Witch Hunt tries to set a highly controversial and prejudiced era of the 1600s into the modern American society, which therefore stumbles on the orthodox and biased beliefs and values. This not only reimagines the current times but also changes the belief system of an entire civilization, resulting in social and legal repercussions. The film’s story, as gathered from the trailer, plays on cinematography styles of the horror genre; however, it plays on several social themes, which shall be explored and be visible in the movie.
The film stars Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost, Gia); Gideon Adlon (Blockers, The Mustang); Abigail Cowen(Stranger Things), and Christian Camargo (The Hurt Locker). The film is set to have a limited theatrical release on October 1, 2021 and will also be made available On Demand the same day.
Witch Hunt is a really exciting and intriguing experiment with the genre, taking inspiration from pre-existing stories on the said topic. Elle Callahan, who is directing the movie, previously directed Head Count (2018), which also gained good reception and acclaim.