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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
Outstanding film...the commentary was very interesting and intriguing ! Quality was great, and the music was intense too. B&W never looked so good. Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2012 by TCJ
this is really just a live action (for most part) documentary about witchcraft and all, but in terms of entertainment, it's not that great, just slightly amusing.Published on July 13 2003
It just doesn't get any better than this. If you have any interest in the history of witchcraft, whether you are a follower, or just an innocent bystander; this movie will please. Read morePublished on March 17 2003 by djhexane
This movie is one of the best I have ever seen! Why is it not available with region code 2 - if it comes from sweden??? still waiting for that edition ...Published on April 21 2002
I find it ridiculous that a cinematic genre that is Scandanavian in content is available only for the US and Canada (Region 1 encoding). Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2002 by peter carlin
This feature packed DVD has everything fans of this film could want. The trouble is, how many fans are there? It is an odd silent movie about witchcraft. Read morePublished on Jan. 25 2002 by Ingles
One of the most famous cult/horror films from the silent era, Benjamin Christensen's "Häxan" is at its devilish best on this EXCELLENT DVD release by the great folks... Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2001 by Erik Homenick
I have just finished watching the new Criterion dvd of Haxan and I couldn't be more pleased! I have never seen this film, but thought I would try it out, as I have always had a... Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2001 by "mutley_hyde"