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Haxan (1922)

Documentary, Horror 1h 45m 1922

Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary silent film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages and early modern era suffered from the same ills as psychiatric patients diagnosed with hysteria in the film’s own time. Far from a dry dissertation on the topic, the film itself is a witches’ brew of the scary, the gross, and the darkly humorous. Christensen’s mix-and-match approach to genre anticipates gothic horror, documentary recreation, and the essay film, making for an experience unlike anything else in the history of cinema.

Language

English TItlecards

Country

Denmark

Studio

Criterion

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