Haxan (1922)
November 7, 2022 12:21 PM - Subscribe

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.

Written and directed by Benjamin Christensen.

91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on HBO Max, Criterion, Kanopy, and others. JustWatch listing. Both the 1968 version of 78 minutes and the restored 106 minute version are online. HBO Max, at least, has the restored version.
posted by DirtyOldTown (1 comment total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, the first five minutes of this comes across as a seventh-grade educational filmstrip - they literally have someone with a pointer stick pointing things out on a medieval drawing illustrating the nine circles of hell or whatever. So you end up thinking that it's going to be dull as dust.

And then suddenly they hit you with naked women cavorting in fields as a "dramatic recreation of a black mass" and you go "ah, maybe not."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:37 PM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

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