Welcome back to the Halloween Countdown! As with all things Halloweenish and Paranormal no countdown would be complete without Witches!
Dressed in black, skin of green, warts, cauldrons…or not. Witch movies have come a long way since the Wizard of Oz.
I can honestly say aside from Harry Potter, I haven’t seen a ton of witch movies. I’ve seen a lot of 80’s goofy teen witch movies, but not a lot of witch movies. I find that witches are some of the most underutilized paranormal creatures out there. A have seen a few that I either really liked, or totally creeped me out, though.
Witches of Eastwick was a great fun movie filled with Jack Nicholson and Jack Nicholson, and well, Jack Nicholson, who needs anything else really? This classic movie was tons of fun with him seducing women, and sleeping with women, and having babies with women. And Susan Sarandon, Cher and Michelle Pfieffer are wonderful. I will never get over seeing the women in those huge glasses and puffy sweaters. This one really was a fun movie and one of the earliest as well for witches.
In 1993, Disney came out with the movie Hocus Pocus. I have always been a huge Bette Midler fan, so I wanted to see the movie and was pleasantly surprised by it. It was funny, goofy, creepy and a great Halloween flick. And I have to say, today, it is still my kids favorite. The chemistry between the ensemble cast was only outdone by the well-written script. There were rumors they might remake it, but I hope they don’t. Hollywood has already destroyed so many classic movies by remaking them. And it was fun to learn that my friend Doug Jones was in this movie. I never realized that was him until he told me!
In 1996 I was quite terrified by Fairuza Balk in The Craft. She is seriously freaky! And the thought that a bunch of whiny, teenage girls could gain powers and harm other girls (i.e. make their hair fall out) was terrifying. You’ve seen my picture, you know what kind of hair I have! Anyway, also the part with the bugs and snake, sooooooo not my thing. All in all, I was impressed and horrified by the movie and still think it remains one great witch movie. Again, I’ve been told they are rebooting this moive to make a sequel. We’ll see.
In 1998 Sandra Bullock broke my heart when – Spoiler Alert – the love of her life was hit and killed by a car in Practical Magic. And when her screwed up sister showed up with the ever so hot Goran Visnjic, and they kill him, it took a darker twist. Enter Aidan Quinn, sigh, and you have one great movie. Crazy aunts, screwed up sisters, a family curse and a haunting ex-boyfriend and a detective who won’t let things go. And the female wicca circle toward the end, hilarious! I’ve not seen another paranormal drama with witches that has come close to it since.
Stardust wasn’t scary but it was a movie with great witches in it. Again we get a taste of Michelle Pfieffer as a witch and in this movie, she is truly fabulous! I found the movie much more entertaining than the book sadly, but the book is good too. The movie though has a bit of everything. Love, fantasy, steampunk, witches, funny dead brothers, chases, sword fights, snotty girls, a young hot Daredevil and Superman. It’s got it all. A great addition to the witch collection. Did I mention that Tristan is played by Charlie Cox who plays Daredevil? Swoon!
Another good witch movie was the only one of its kind I’ve ever seen. The Covenant. An all-male witch movie with some of my favorite hotties. Sebastian Stan, Steven Strait and Taylor Kitsch. I loved the idea of male witches. In contrast to most of the films out there though, the plot on this one was good and the effects were lackluster. But I really liked it. Seeing guys wield magic as witches normally reserved for women in movies, was refreshing. And hello, again, Steven Strait!
Now for the not so great. I am a sucker for Nicholas Cage as well as Ron Pearlman. And I am a sucker for fantasy movies, or books or whatever, so I was excited for Season of The Witch in 2011. MAJOR LET DOWN! And not because of the acting. Not because of the sets. Not because of the cinematography. Because of the story. I have never seen a more slow-moving, hole-ridden story in my life. This movie could have been so awesome if there had been a couple more re-writes. As a matter of fact, it has spurred me to think of an off-the-wall witch idea myself. But other than that, no, I would not recommend wasting your time with this one.
So what’s left? Most recently Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, and Famke Janssen. And though Jeremy Renner is totally sexy. And the guns and gadgets that Hansel and Gretel use are steampunk and make me drool like a man staring at a shiny red Ferrari. But the movie… didn’t make me drool. The sexual awkwardness between Hansel and Gretel is…well…weird! Like, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron weird! And the story, lacking. And mostly, just… weird. I liked the ogre, Edward, a lot. He was sad and fun. Mostly though, besides Famke Jensen being a great villain witch, the graphics were pretty good but this isn’t one you watch for the plot.
Another newish witch movie I had really high hopes for was The Last Witch Hunter with Vin Diesel. I love Vin Diesel! And yet… another lacking movie with some good graphics and predictable, flat plot. I must say, I am getting seriously tired of great graphics and no plot movies. Sigh…
Lastly, there is Beautiful Creatures. A good YA turned movie story. The acting was great. It’s hard to wrong with Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, and Emma Thompson. However, I felt like a lot of the book was out, which is a struggle when adapting books to film. This sweet love story is one I really liked though and hope they make a sequel to because it ends on a cliffhanger. I was also pleasantly surprised with the actors for Ethan and Lena, relative newcomers they did a great job.
So all in all. There are some great fun witch movies out there for Halloween. And there are some not great ones if you just really must see a witch movie or die!
Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite
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