Halloween is upon us, so to celebrate I thought I’d discuss the ending of one of my favourite horror movies: 2015’s The Witch. Audiences tend to be completely polarised on the movie there’s definitely a lot of mixed opinions on what it represents.
Throughout this article, I will be discussing the ending of The Witch and giving my thoughts on exactly what I think happened. There will be heavy spoilers and I definitely recommend that you give this movie a watch if you’re yet to see it.
With that out the way, I’m Deffinition and I ruin the movie, so you don’t have to.
By the end of The Witch, you may be wondering why Anya has decided to join a coven of Witches and give her body to Satan. In order to fully understand this, we have to look at the character of Anya from the start and decipher why she has such an evil turn.
Anya is the one family member that seems to deeply regret the banishment that is forced upon them. Even from the film’s opening scene, we can see the regret that takes over her and this highlights how she may wish to seek company amongst other communities. In the introduction, Anya is the last to leave the church and when the family is forced to desert the Commonwealth she looks back at the settlement one last time, almost begging that they accept her once more.
This fear of no longer being a part of a religious sect and therefore no longer allowed into heaven really drives the character’s motivations throughout the film.
The Temptation Of Anya
Early on we witness Anya praying and begging that Christ saves her soul from hell. She also pleas that she be granted the mindstate that her father made the right choice in making the family leave and it’s here where Satan sets his sights on her. Anya is a young virgin, filled with doubt and cast out from the flock which makes her the perfect target for the commander of Hell and the entire plot of the movie centres around him slowly turning her.
Satan knows that Anya secretly longs for the Commonwealth and the luxuries that come with it. She recounts to her brother about the wonderful glasswork that was present there and it’s clear she still longs to be a part of a community. This makes her the perfect target for temptation and is the reason she is so easily manipulated.
She is a weak girl, lost young girl and this makes her choice at the end ever more understandable.
By the final scene of the film, her entire family is dead so she is left with very little opportunities beyond starving to death or trying to reach the Commonwealth on foot. Here she will likely be accused of becoming a witch as she tries to explain her family’s demise. Anya too feels shunned by God. She prayed throughout the film and still was left with her family’s betrayal and death. Her father who was a devout man, hated her and framed her, poisoning her family against her to the point that her mother attempted to murder her. Whilst Anya was right to fight back, she still committed matricide which in the 17th century would have been viewed as unforgivable, especially in God’s eyes.
Send Her To Satan
In the end, with her mindstate on God being a polar opposite to how it was at the beginning of the film, it becomes easy for her to turn for ‘butter, a pretty dress to live deliciously.’ Food is, of course, a necessity and we already know that Anya desired a higher standard of living, hence the mention of the dress and living to an enjoyable level.
Anya felt unaccepted by both God and her family. They tried to be rid of her several times during the movie and made her feel massively unwelcome. The society she is from made her subservient and also judged her because of her gender and age. Juxtaposing this, Satan seems to have open arms for her and the promise of an opportunity to rule alongside him. This would massively outweigh the negatives that she has faced thus far in her past life and would seem like the best way forward. When Anya is stripped from all the oppression the gravity of the situation lifts spiritually and physically and the character is able to finally float up with all the liberated souls.
However, it’s not a completely happy ending and viewers may wonder what happened to the rest of her brothers and sisters. They have been in fact used to flame the fire that we see at the end and Anya will now have to do the same to other families if she wishes to remain in the good graces of her new God.
So, what are your thoughts on the Ending Of The Witch. Did you take a different interpretation from the film and is there anything I missed that further backs up my theory?
Comment below and let me know!