Welcome back! I'm working on a collection of scary stories and one of my entries includes witches. After all, witchcraft played an interesting role in American history and it still remains in our culture today. So, I'm going to share my favorite movies about witches. Ironically, most of my choices aren't horror films. Let's dive right in!
This movie has many flaws, but it's unique and quite entertaining. Witches and warlocks either join the dark or light when they reach age sixteen. It's a little bit like a CW soap opera, but I find the story and mythology intriguing. One young witch encounters her corrupt mother and a really big adventure ensues. This movie is fun if you enjoy the YA genre.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
This film is a classic. It's the best entry in the Narnia series with a fascinating setting and elaborate fantasy elements. A group of children stumble into a fantasy kingdom through a closet and they meet all kinds of magical creatures. However, an evil witch wants to destroy them and take over the kingdom. It's a blockbuster adventure for viewers of all ages.
I suppose men can be witches too. According to this film, the magical talents from Salem only run in the male bloodlines. This movie isn't amazing, but it's fun and a decent way to kill ninety minutes. In fact, a lot of the dialogue is laughable. Basically, The Covenant is an enjoyable guilty pleasure. Just watch it without thinking too hard.
This cult hit isn't particularly scary, but it has cool characters and their actions reap severe consequences. The Craft shows a lot of gray morality and I think quite a few teenagers can relate to their situation. Let's face it. Teen relationships are often messy and complicated. It makes a very entertaining movie about witchcraft with a goth twist.
A conflict between a vampire and a vengeful witch sounds like a fun movie. This dark comedy has many throwbacks and references to the seventies with campy wit. It has many of Tim Burton's signature quirks, such goth influences, elaborate costume design, and dark fantasy elements. This film is an entertaining PG-13 viewing without major scares.
Drag Me to Hell
Make sure you never piss off a witch. An elderly witch places a curse on a banker who refuses to extent her mortgage. The witch soon dies and haunts the banker beyond the grave. Now this young woman must find a way to destroy the curse, so she won't be dragged to Hell by demons. This comedic horror film has a good combination of scares and laughs. It's little more than a high profile B movie and I think that's the point.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
This spinoff from the Harry Potter franchise is quite entertaining and whimsical. It includes some elements from the Wizarding World, but the subject matter is significantly different. This film has a much bigger emphasis on magical creatures instead of witchcraft. It's a refreshing change of pace from the long lasting Harry Potter series.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
You might think it's cheating to include two films from the Wizarding World, but I would say both franchises should be on this list. The Chamber of Secrets is my favorite entry in the main Harry Potter series with spells, a dark mystery, creatures, and our favorite characters at Hogwarts. It's a dark movie, but teen viewers will probably enjoy the story.
This fun and campy Disney film is a Halloween staple. The witches in this film are diabolical and silly at the same time. Hocus Pocus was definitely intended for younger audiences, but it's suitable for adults as well. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are a mischievous trio of witches who are raising trouble in the modern era. Hopefully, a group of kids can vanquish them before the entire town falls under their spell.
The Last Witch Hunter
Some movies on this list don’t have a ton of substance, but The Last Witch Hunter is a fun and quickly paced blockbuster with a variety of witches. It has some humor, great action sequences, and plenty of fantasy elements. There’s never a dull moment. It’s too bad we never got a sequel.
The Little Mermaid
Who can forget Ursula the Sea Witch? Despite The Little Mermaid’s light tone, the main antagonist is a dark and fiendish villain who collects souls from gullible mermaids. It sounds like quite a nightmare. Of course, a classic story and great music also helps. Ariel might not be my favorite Disney princess, but this film is super re-watchable.
Here’s one of the few true horror movies on this post. A devoutly Christian woman makes a bargain with cosmic entities to bring good fortune to her life. She used a book of dark magic for decades to suit her needs until it eventually corrupted her soul. Now she’s planning to sacrifice her grandson to the ancient Gods and he needs to find an escape plan. Mercy is also one of the few witchcraft films that ties into the Cthulhu mythos.
The remake of Disney’s Mulan includes an antagonist who was labeled a witch by individuals who fear her powers. In fact, this film includes numerous characters with psychic powers, including Mulan and the Emperor. This version of Mulan might not have Mushu or the animated film’s music, but it’s a very mature take on an ancient fairy tale with great characters and action scenes.
This charming romcom showcases two sister witches who are trying to eliminate their family curse. Apparently, any men who fall for the women in their family die prematurely. Practical Magic is definitely more humorous and dramatic than scary, but it’s still a fun Halloween viewing.
The Skeleton Key
I suppose this horror film has outdated views about Voodoo, but it’s still interesting and creepy. The Skeleton Key keeps the audience guessing until the very end. It’s a nice blend of horror and mystery with a slow burn. This movie also proves good horror doesn’t need a huge budget. Sometimes less is more.
Maleficent is another iconic witch who scared children for generations. The original Sleeping Beauty is surprisingly dark for a Disney movie. It’s also a decent action flick with a sword fighting prince, a kingdom covered in thorns, and Maleficent in her menacing dragon form. This classic is definitely my favorite of the earlier Disney animations.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
I’m surprised to see so many Disney films on this post. This brisk action film has vague ties with Arthurian legend, such as Morgana le Fay as a villain. She doesn't appear until late in the movie, but The Sorcerer's Apprentice is still an entertaining fantasy adventure that's suitable for most age groups.
The Sword in the Stone
This early film in Disney animation is a surprisingly good chronicle about King Arthur's childhood. I particularly enjoyed a wacky spar between Merlin and his nemesis; Madam Mim. Magic, spells, and witchcraft play a significant role in this film and the story fleshes out a nice coming of age fable.
I recommend watching both versions, including the original release and the remake from 2020. Both movies involve a boy who runs across a convention for witches. Apparently, witches really hate children and they turn him into a mouse. The original release is kind of dark, but it's still a kid's movie. The remake is much sillier with equally good entertainment value. Both versions are decent in their own right.
The Witches of Eastwick
It's hard to resist a dark comedy that stars Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer. This fantasy romcom features three local witches who fall in love with a demonic being. One would think a demon would have the upper hand, but these clever witches find a way to turn the tables on him.
That’s my top 20 list about witches in cinema. Do you have any favorites that didn’t make it on my list? Share in the comment section. Do your best to stay safe. Between the pandemic and our tumultuous political climate, it’s a jungle out there! Keep the peace and I’ll see you guys next week. Have a great three day weekend!
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