Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages

Movie Information

In Brief: Danish director Benjamin Christensen's silent masterpiece Häxan (1922) is a strange beast — Satanic pun largely intended. A bizarre blend of documentary, narrative fiction and animation, the film showcases Christensen in more ways than one; in addition to demonstrating his remarkable acumen as an early visual stylist, the film also features the director himself in the role of Satan. While a significantly trimmed version was released in 1968 with a tacked-on narration by none other than William Burroughs, this addition adds little to the proceedings and the film's cult status was earned predominantly on the basis of the fundamental creepiness of the original version. Häxan is a classic not only for its intriguing conflation of genres and effects work that was remarkably advanced for its time, but for its efforts to apply a humanistic rationale to its subject. Few films on the topic of witchcraft can be said to have achieved the same level of emotional affectiveness while so closely adhering to historical fact, and even fewer have done so while maintaining such an unsettling atmosphere of dread and revulsion. Join the THPS for this rare opportunity to see — on the big screen, as intended — the film that inspired everything from early Surrealist cinema to last year's exemplary The Witch. The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen Häxan Thursday, Jan. 5, at 9:15 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.
Genre: Horror
Director: Benjamin Christensen
Starring: Maren Pedersen Clara Pontoppidan Tora Teje Benjamin Christensen Oscar Stribolt
Rated: NR

The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen Häxan Thursday, Jan. 5, at 9:15 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.


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