Häxan (international title: Witchcraft Through The Ages), directed by Benjamin Christensen, is a 1922 Swedish/Danish movie often noted as either one of the first modern documentaries, an early horror movie, or one of the first exploitation films.
Ostensibly, it's a serious look at medieval superstition and the horrific consequences thereof, and how we're not so very different today. It achieves this by showing etchings from medieval works about witchcraft, pictures of torture implements, and dramatized scenes of sorcery, black masses, inquisitions, and modern psychiatry, featuring plenty of Gorn and Fan Service.
The film is in the public domain and can be viewed here.
- Burn the Witch: Well, duh.
- Cold-Blooded Torture
- Eats Babies: One of the things believed to have happened at black masses.
- Fan Service: A surprising amount of nudity for a 1922 film.
- Fan Disservice: A surprising amount of nudity by older women and men being tortured or dressed up like demons.
- Good Cop, Bad Cop: During the Inquisition era.
- Morton's Fork: The witch trials make heavy use of this.
- Not So Different: Medieval superstition about witches and demons is compared to then-modern views on mental illness.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions
- Shown Their Work: The film is largely based on the Malleus Maleficarum, faults and all.
- Wicked Witch: Deconstructed.