Sunday, April 29, 2018

20 More Witch Films to Watch for Walpurgisnacht


Tomorrow is Halfway to Halloween and Walpurgisnacht or Witches' Night! I can't believe it is already the end of April with only six months to go until Halloween, eeeeek! This month I have been in crunch mode at work, so I'm sorry to say I haven't had much time or energy to devote to anything else. However, I couldn't let Halfway to Halloween or Walpurgis Night pass without sharing something bewitching!

Since I haven't had much time to plan for an elaborate celebration, I figured the best way to celebrate Witches' Night and Halfway to Halloween is to watch a good ol' witch flick! Last year I posted about 20 of my favorite movies that featured witches and witchcraft, so why not 20 more? There have been some new witch films that have really blown me away, and some classics I didn't mention last year, so this is a perfect time of year to recommend these witchy flicks. Though the majority are horror films, there are a few family-friendly films, comedies, and even a romance or two. I wanted to recommend films for witches of all kinds!


I hope you have a very spooky Halfway to Halloween and Walpurgisnacht tomorrow, and join me in watching some of these witch films (note: links will lead you to Amazon to rent or purchase the films; affiliate links like these help to support this site and I appreciate your support more than you know!):


1.) The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) - Father-and-son coroners begin to experience supernatural phenomena while examining the body of an unidentified woman. You'll have to watch and see this film to understand what it has to do with witches, but it was one of my favorite films of 2016 and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.


2.) The Conjuring (2013) - Paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren are summoned by a desperate family to investigate a secluded farmhouse they just moved into where a supernatural presence has made itself known. Though the manifestations are relatively benign at first, events soon escalate in horrifying fashion, especially after the Warrens discover the house's macabre history. This film has solid scares and one of the nastiest witches ever!


3.) Halloweentown (1998) - After learning she comes from a long line of witches, a girl helps save a magical town full of other supernatural creatures. If you're looking for a sweet, family-friendly witch movie that is PACKED with Halloween spirit, look no further than Halloweentown and its sequels. It really is the perfect film to watch for both Witches' Night and Halfway to Halloween, as it celebrates both!


4.) Pumpkinhead (1988) - After his son dies in a hit-and-run accident, Ed Harley seeks revenge against the teenagers responsible. With the help of a local witch, Ed summons the vengeful demon Pumpkinhead to hunt and kill the group of friends. But when Ed discovers a bond between himself and the creature, he begins to have second thoughts about employing the vicious monster, and he fights to end Pumpkinhead's murderous rampage before it is too late. The witch Haggis in the film is portrayed as an old crone and she is both awesome and terrifying to behold, especially when she raises Pumpkinhead from the pumpkin patch. 


5.) Blood on Satan's Claw (1971) - When a mysterious corpse is accidentally dug up in a small town, a group of local teens start to act very strangely and begin performing witchcraft, which causes panic among the townspeople. This folk horror movie is set in 17th century England and is beautiful to behold! It may be a little more folk horror rather than straight-up witch movie, but for its beautifully witchy aesthetic I think it applies here. 


6.) Mark of the Witch (1970) -  A 300-year-old witch terrorizes a college town to get revenge on the descendant of the man who persecuted her. I just watched this on Amazon Prime, and though it was by no means perfect, it was still a pretty decent witch flick (and wow, those '70s fashions and hairdos!). A quick note, this shouldn't be confused with the other 1970 witch film starring Udo Kier called Mark of the Devil about a witchfinder general's apprentice having doubts about all the cruel torture inflicted on accused witches. 


7.) The House of the Devil (2009) - In 1983, financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger. One of the relatively newer films on the list, and I think it is among the best horror films of the year it was released! Unexpectedly bloody and full of tension, plus some beautifully terrifying witchcraft scenes towards the end. 


8.) Curse of the Demon (1957) - A skeptical American psychologist comes to England to investigate and disprove the concept of the supernatural. But before long he finds himself cursed by the leader of a witch cult and disbelief becomes terrifying reality. Known in Britain as Night of the Demon (it was re-titled and re-cut for American audiences), this is a beautifully atmospheric film that deserves to be seen more. 


9.) The Worst Witch (1986) - Mildred is one of the young girls at a prestigious witch academy. She can't seem to do anything right and is picked on by classmates and teachers. The headmistress of the school, Miss Cackle, has an evil twin sister who plans to destroy the school. Can Mildred foil the plan before the Grand Wizard comes to the Academy for the Halloween celebration?! If you haven't seen this original film starring a young Fairuza Balk with an unforgettable appearance by Tim Curry at the end, you aren't living! Copies of this are notoriously tough to hunt down, but I think you can find it on YouTube to watch.


10.) I Married a Witch (1942) - A beautiful 17th-century witch returns to life to plague politician Wallace Wooley, descendant of her persecutor. This fun romantic comedy stars Veronica Lake and is charming, witty, and just an all-around light-hearted and entertaining classic. 


11.) Pyewacket (2017) - A frustrated, angst-ridden teenage girl awakens something in the woods when she naively performs an occult ritual to evoke a witch to kill her mother. I watched this film recently, and it had a creepy atmosphere, a likable lead, and I felt like it captured teen angst really well, where everything feels like it's the end of the world. I loved the shots of the brooding forest, the witchcraft scenes, and the utterly unsettling movements we see in the background of some scenes. At one point I had to pause the film and go back to see if something was really there or if it was just my imagination (spoiler: something was there!!).  


12.) The City of the Dead (1960) - A young college student arrives in a sleepy Massachusetts town to research witchcraft; during her stay at an eerie inn, she discovers a startling secret about the town and its inhabitants. This film features Christopher Lee and it is filmed in stark black and white, with many scenes of billowing fog through the small town and old cemetery. It is a well-made film and a fun watch!


13.) Season of the Witch (1972) - A bored, unhappy suburban housewife gets mixed up in witchcraft and murder. This film was directed and written by the late, great George A. Romero and while it isn't his best film, it's still interesting him to see address feminism and how women were expected to give up everything to take care of their husbands and children. The garish '70s color palette of the film and the harsh lighting and angles make this film even uneasier to watch and gives it a sinister, nightmarish feel. 


14.) Witchcraft (1964) - When her grave is disturbed by modern-day land developers, a 300-year-old witch is accidentally resurrected and terrorizes an English village. There were a lot of 300-year old witches coming back for vengeance in the '60s and '70s! This film seems little-known, but I simply adore it for its spooky stylized scenes and wicked witch (who you actually root for!).  


15.) Practical Magic (1998) - Two witch sisters, raised by their eccentric aunts in a small town, face closed-minded prejudice and a curse which threatens to prevent them ever finding lasting love. Every time I watch this movie, I swoon over the gorgeous Victorian and soooooo wished I lived there! This feel-good movie is usually not my cup of tea, but since I have fond memories of watching it when I was younger with my mom and sister, it is like cuddling up with a favorite blanket and is so comforting.


16.) Bell, Book and Candle (1958) - A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancĂ©e, so she enchants him to love her instead, only to fall in love with him for real. Starring Kim Novak and James Stewart, this is an adorable witch film that bases witchcraft and witches in real life, co-existing with human (though unbeknownst to them). I loved Novak's witchy family, including Elsa Lanchester (of Bride of Frankenstein fame), who played her eccentric aunt. The film has a very fun, playful tone throughout.


17.) Rosemary's Baby (1968) - A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life. An undisputed classic of dread that goes to show you never know who your neighbors are!


18.) All Cheerleaders Die (2013) - A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle. An entertaining, wacky, satisfying, and gory movie that will have you cheering (hehe)! Yes, there is a witchcraft angle that is unexpected, though some of it may come off as a bit goofy. Still, I think this is an underrated recent film, written and directed by Lucky McKee (May, The Woman) and Chris Sivertson (The Lost).


19.) The Witches of Eastwick (1987) - Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted, at a cost, when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives. Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher play the three women in the film with Jack Nicholson as the Devil that seduces them but ultimately gives them the power to hex and banish him. I have mixed thoughts on this film, but it's a seductive slice of '80s culture.


20.) The Midnight Hour (1985) - On Halloween night, high school friends inadvertently raise a centuries-old witch who wants revenge on the town. This little-known horror-comedy is another film that combines Halloween and witches and it is such an excellent choice to get into the spirit of both Halfway to Halloween and Walpurgisnacht! Unfortunately, it is hard to track down (there has never been a DVD or Blu-ray release of the film, likely due to the licensing rights to the amazing soundtrack that is used throughout the film), though it is available to watch on YouTube.


Let me know what you will be watching to celebrate Walpurgisnacht and Halfway to Halloween in the comments!

Stay spooky, witches!

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good selection. I love I married a witch or such a great film.

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  2. Nice pick. So many 70s films that I am pumped to watch. I find the whole occult scare really funny. I'll have to see how many of the movies I can find to watch.

    I agree about Witches of Eastwick. We watched the movie, the show, and read the book. Man, the book is DATED! I can't believe people praised the author for "really knowing what it is like to be a woman." I loved the TV series, even though it was VERY fluffy compared to the movie/book. I guess it gave me lots of nolstagic New England-y feels. Plus some parts were campy and cheesy. Bummer it got cancelled.

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