After years of vampire and zombie supremacy, witches have clawed their way out of those beguiling Blair Witch woods and back into the horror mainstream. Which is a huge relief for anyone who, like me, can no longer look at a zombie for more than three minutes without becoming, well, zombified. And Twilight has done such a number on vampires that the poor bastards may never be scary again.

Witches, however, make fascinating and versatile horror adversaries.

Director Robert Eggers’s debut feature, The Witch, is a deeply unsettling collage of New England folklore with – horror of horrors – some surprisingly feminist themes.

Barry Sonnenfeld, director:

I’d been a successful cinematographer. I shot the first three Coen brothers movies, Big and When Harry Met Sally. I was in LA finishing up shooting Misery when producer Scott Rudin left me a script to read – The Addams Family. I’d grown up loving Charles Addams’ cartoons in the New Yorker. They were dark and funny. Scott said: “If I can convince Orion Studios to hire you would you be willing to direct it?” I said: “Sure.” You never actually think anything like that’s going to happen – but it did.