The Crucible (1996) Review

When Kyle gave me this movie, I honestly had no clue what it was about which is a rare and welcome thing in my life because I seem to know what every movie is about. So, it was really cool to go into a film cold with the bare minimum of plot details. Finding out “The Crucible” was about the Salem witch trails was all I needed to know I was in for a treat. I have a fascination with films or any media that involves cults or witch trials or anything of that spooky, bizarre nature. So as The Crucible unfolded particularly from the first scene, I was sucked in.

The Crucible which is of course based on Arthur Miller’s play of the same name and even the adapted script was written by him, tells the story of the Salem witch trials as this village starts to come under the suspicion that the Devil has ahold of various young women, one of which is Abigail Williams (Winona Rider). Abigail we come to learn may have had an affair with a farmer by the name of John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and as the story unfolded, I found myself all over the place in terms of who to believe.

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This film works so well because of it’s expertly acted cast. Saying Daniel Day-Lewis gave a fantastic performance is like saying the sun is hot. It’s pretty obvious that whenever he is in something, he is going to give an amazing performance and that is definitely true here. I believe the real standout here however is Winona Rider. Abigail throughout this movie slowly pulls back her facade and you start to see her true self and I found myself loathing her at the end. Think of something like Fatal Attraction and Glenn Close’s character. Abigail is like that but probably even more despicable as she tries to destroy anyone’s life who crosses her. I absolutely adored the final scene too. The way the film ends is brilliant and I’d probably consider it to be one of the best endings to a movie I’ve seen. The film has this tension and subtle eeriness as I wouldn’t label it a horror movie but it has some elements of it in there.

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I really enjoyed the sets as they felt so authentic and whenever a film is set in a period such as this, I think it is crucial the set is done perfectly and that is on display here. The direction is also top notch as each camera movement is slow and calculated, using a lot of close ups to display these characters struggles. As for any gripes with the movie, I don’t know if it was Netflix’s upload of the stream or what have it but something didn’t feel right about the audio. A lot of it sounded like what my professors usually tell me is wrong with any of my film projects audio. A few times the audio didn’t feel believable and it would sometimes take me out of it.

Besides that, The Crucible is a intriguing story about a very interesting topic in the Salem trials. While I think The VVitch, another film about Witchs in the Massachusetts area, is a better film and I highly recommend it, I believe that anyone like me who enjoys Witchcraft stories will like this movie.

Grade: B+

 

Kyle’s Next Movie

The Matrix (1999)

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I said when I gave Kyle “Ghost in the Shell” that it was the first part in a two parter swap. He assumed it was gonna be the live action adaptation of that brilliant anime (He does not share this thought, sadly). Well here is the live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell! The Matrix is one of the most influential films I’ve ever seen and is brilliant. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, badass stunts, thought-provoking sci-fi. Just everything about it is so well done and it sounds like this is what Kyle wished Ghost in the Shell was when he watched it. Enjoy Kyle!


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