Saturday, October 4, 2014

Top 10 Greatest Witch Movies: Happy Halloween!

Barbara Steele plays a witch in "Black Sunday"

On this list you will find films about good witches and bad witches. Some are very scary, and some are lighthearted, fun, and safe for the whole family to watch. But no matter what kind of black magic you like, there's sure to be a bewitching film on this list that you will enjoy watching this Halloween:

"Black Sunday"




This 1960 film is about a vampire witch who comes back from the dead. She's played by the beautiful and unique Barbara Steele, who has dual roles in the film as the witch and a doppelganger princess who the sorceress wants to drain of her blood. If she pulls off this frightful feat, she'll gain immortality. It's an artistic film with great photography, and a must-see of lovers of the classic horror genre.

"The Witches of Eastwick" 

You won't find a trio of witches sexier than this! Susan Sarandon, Cher, and Michelle Pfeiffer star in this film about a bewitching group of black-magic women who are all seduced by the same devilish man (played by Jack Nicholson, of course). It's a little bit sexy and a little bit gross, and while it's not the best film on this list, it's still fun to watch.

"The Blair Witch Project"

This 'mockumentary' was one of the most acclaimed independent films of our time because of its originality. To produce scares, the film relies on its realism and shaky camera footage. However, things don't start getting really freaky until we see the bizarre findings of the three student filmmakers searching the woods for evidence of the Blair Witch. Viewers never get to see the Blair Witch or learn the fate of the students, but the film definitely frightened audiences in a way they hadn't been before. Some filmgoers loved it, others hated it, and some couldn't make it through the whole film because the shaky camera work made them physically ill. At least it was refreshing and different.

"Haxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages"



his silent 1922 film is a very twisted look at witchcraft. It almost has the feel of a documentary to it, but you know the events that the film portrays can't possibly be actually happening. It has become a cult classic because of all of the strange scenes portrayed (including some with nudity, torture, and sexual perversion), and it has extremely good special effects for its time. The Criterion Collection currently has a DVD of the film available that features a restored print of the original version of the film along with the midnight movie edit of the film from 1968 narrated by William S. Burroughs (the writer of Naked Lunch.) It's a very interesting film, and it's a must-see for any hardcore movie lover or film student.

The Harry Potter films

These films currently are and will continue to be some of the most beloved movies about witches ever. The Harry Potter books have definitely cast a spell over children and adults alike all over the world, and the movies are just as magical. For a great Harry Potter themed children's Halloween party, just pop in a few of the films and serve up some classic Halloween treats like caramel covered apples and popcorn balls, along with some of the magical treats from the Harry Potter candy line. By treating your guests to a Harry Potter movie marathon, you'll be casting a magical spell over them that will make your job as party hostess a lot easier.

"Practical Magic"




Nicole Kidman has never looked more betwitching than she has in this film, and Sandra Bullock definitely doesn't look too shabby, either. The two sisters they play in this film have fallen prey to the same terrible curse that has plagued all female members of their family: any man who falls in love with them will die tragically. The film is full of crazy magic spells and curses, along with suspicious townspeople and even the undead. But despite all of the trouble these witches go through, like all romantic comedies, this one has a happy ending.

"Suspiria"

This 1977 horror film is one of the most notorious witch movies ever made, and the last produced in Technicolor. But the mood of the film is not colorful at all. It's about a group of girls who attend a dance academy that is so much more than it seems. Dance students begin to die in horrible and mysterious ways, and bizarre occurrences begin to happen at the school. After witnessing maggots falling from the ceiling, some of the girls become increasingly fearful of what is exactly going on there. One student discovers that the dance academy was once a school of the occult and a witch's coven, and it seems that this still might be the case. The film is full of blood and violence and is definitely not for everyone, but many consider it to be the best witch movie ever made.

"The Witches"

This somewhat spooky family film is based on the book by beloved children's author Ronald Dahl. The witches in this film are terrifying to children for good reason: their whole goal seems to be to rid the world of them (not by killing them, but by turning them into mice). A young boy learns of their plot when he stumbles into one of their gatherings at a hotel, and he must figure out how to stop them. This film really scared me as a child, and what disturbed me most was the portrayal of the witches/mice being stomped on and killed. I know the mice were supposed to be "the bad guys," but the scene still bothered me, and this film may not be suitable for all children.

"The Craft"




This teen film about female witches is definitely not upbeat, funny, or happy. It's about a group of teenage girls who are misfits at their school, a situation that they find can be remedied through the use of witchcraft -- they use their powers to put curses on their enemies. A newcomer to the group soon discovers that the ability to use the witchcraft has gone to all of the girls' heads, and they start to abuse it in dangerous ways. The film had an impact on gothic style, and it stirred an interest in the Wicca religion with teens for a while. It probably still has a profound effect on teens today.

"I Married a Witch"

In this classic witch movie, the lovely Veronica Lake stars as a centuries-old witch out for revenge against the ancestors of the man responsible for her burning at the stake. Her spirit manages to gain a human form, but she ultimately ends up falling for the man she is out to torment. Hilarity and insanity ensues, of course. Veronica Lake is simply stunning as always, and the film does have a pretty unique plot.

If you're planning on dressing as a witch this Halloween, perhaps some of these great films can inspire you to come up with a unique and different take on the classic black pointy hat and wart on the end of the nose. Whether you like your witches fun, funny, sexy, or frightening, there's sure to be a film about witches on this list that will cast a spell on you.