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Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen's legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the middle ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious-instead it's a witches' brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous. The Criterion Collection is proud to present two versions of this genre-defying "documentary," for the first time ever on DVD.
Witchcraft through the ages is explored with dark wit in this silent classic. Writer-director Benjamin Christensen uses a historical study of witchcraft as a jumping-off point for a fascinating film that is part science, part horror, and part social commentary. This Criterion edition uses a beautiful print, a rearrangement of music from the original Danish premiere, and the original Swedish intertitles (with subtitles). Goodies include commentary by Danish film scholar Casper Tybjerg, the option of watching a narrated version without intertitles, and test shots from the film. The test shots, in particular, give insight into the early filmmaking process, as when Christensen uses his own image to try out (and reject) a flying effect. This is a worthy edition to the collection of fans of horror films, silent films, and film in general. --Ali Davis
Danish filmmaker Benjamin Christensen's obsession with bizarre lighting effects reached its apotheosis with his 1922 masterpiece Häxan. Read more
Great edition. The master is very good and the suplements are very interesting.Published 4 months ago by PEREIRA Vincent
Interesting and creepy. Very unusual moving but fun to watch. Just the thing on a Halloween night.Published 8 months ago by Dan Knedel
Fascinating movie. Maintained interest despite age, subtitles, etc.Published 10 months ago by Scribe
This movie is awesome. I saw it on Turner Classic Movies and fell in love with it instantly. The settings are beautiful, and the settings involving witches and demons are... Read morePublished 14 months ago by DisneyVillain
Nice restoration by Criterion, you almost wouldn't believe the film was made in 1922. For its time this is a pretty objective rendition of medieval witch hunt frenzy. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Torino
Criterion Collection's restoration of HAXAN is flawless. The film looks practically new.
It's also more detailed than I remember, with chapter (reel?) titles. Read more