Watch This: This horrifying, hysterical classic recounts the history of witchcraft

Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: The Witch has us staring deeply into our bubbling cauldron, in search of other superb movies about witchcraft.

Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922)

Like a Hieronymus Bosch painting come to malevolent life, Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages remains a silent-era stunner of profane imagery and feverish socio-historical commentary. Danish director Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 film (co-financed by a Swedish production company) combines animation, non-fiction, and fictional elements to investigate the history of witchcraft, and the persecution of women over the course of centuries. That topic is given gloriously demented visual life by Christensen, who drenches his black-and-white vignettes in dark shadows, brimstone fire and smoke, and all manner of unholy sights, from grave robbing and cannibalism to the Devil’s worshippers pledging allegiance to their horned master by kissing his naked …

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