These witches are greater than a effervescent cauldron; they’re downright nasty.
<p><em>October is outlined in Webster’s Dictionary as “31 days of horror.” Don’t trouble wanting it up; it’s true. Most individuals take that to imply highlighting one horror film a day, however right here at FSR, we’ve taken that up a spooky notch or 9 by celebrating every day with a high ten record. This text about the very best witch horror films that also depend as horror is a part of our ongoing collection <robust>31 Days of Horror Lists</robust>.</em>
The stereotypical picture of the witch is an outdated lady with a hooked nostril, some furry warts, a black cat, and a black cauldron filled with some mysterious effervescent liquid. She cackles with glee and horrifies little youngsters, and will even gobble them up. However witches are a lot greater than that. They are often supernatural monsters that don’t simply carry out magic however command spirits. The witches on this record run the gamut from each the beloved cinematic witches of our childhoods to extra sinister, evil creatures that appear devoid of humanity.
So seize that salt and sprinkle in your doorway earlier than trying out a number of the finest witch horror films, as chosen by Brad Gullickson, Chris Coffel, Jacob Trussell, Rob Hunter, Anna Swanson, Meg Shields, and myself.
10. Hocus Pocus (1993)
For those who’re of a sure age, Kenny Ortega‘s Hocus Pocus hits you good. You watched it on the time of its launch as a little bit child and have watched it a number of instances each October since. I occur to be of that sure age, and I like this family-friendly horror-comedy. Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) are the Sanderson sisters, Salem witches that feed on the youth of kids. Earlier than their execution in 1693, Winifred casts a spell that can enable them to be resurrected throughout a full moon on All Hallows’ Eve, offered a virgin lights the Black Flame Candle.
Flash ahead to Halloween 1993, and Max Denison (Omri Katz) is the dumb virgin they waited for. Max lights the candle, and the Sanderson sisters are again on the free! Hocus Pocus is light-hearted fare that absolutely leans into the Halloween spirit. Midler is dynamic as the neatest of the sisters, delivering one of many best renditions of “I Put A Spell On You” whereas being equal components creepy and fabulous. Parker and Najimy are excellent because the dimwitted sisters, and the movie delivers loads of methods and treats alongside the way in which, together with legendary cameos from Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall. (Chris Coffel)
9. The Season of the Witch (1972)
Watching The Season of the Witch is like urgent play on a dream, a dream that masks a nightmare. The movie wanders quietly into Joan Mitchell’s life, the place we see a collection of psychological assaults from her husband, culminating in a bodily assault. It’s not brutal however stunning and fats with the promise of escalating future encounters. When a brand new neighbor proves herself a witch, Joan lays her coronary heart at her toes, and her particular person quickly swells with energy. Given a lift of spirit and vitality, Joan reclaims her life and reduces the brute who dared lay his hand on her into fearful little welp. George A. Romero concludes the movie with society nonetheless refusing to acknowledge Joan’s singularity however guarantees the viewers that such slights won’t go unpublished. (Brad Gullickson)
8. The Blair Witch Challenge (1999)
The scariest witch is the one we will’t see, which is what makes The Blair Witch Challenge so rattling scary. For your entire film, we hear Heather (Heather Donahue) and residents of Burkittsville recall the legend of the Blair Witch, describing a girl coated in thick, coarse fur, a bloodbath at Coffin Rock, and an general feeling of uneasiness across the woods. These tales and legends dangle over your head as Heather, Josh, and Mike get progressively extra misplaced and discover clues that there’s something stalking them via the bushes. Paranoia units in as they discover piles of rocks and their gear is roofed in an odd slime; is there actually a witch or is a bunch of locals simply messing with them? That’s the facility of this film. You’re continuously doubting the existence of the witch and if that is only a case of three folks getting misplaced. That’s, till the movie’s last moments. Then you definately’ll shortly end up believing that she’s actual. (Mary Beth McAndrews)
7. Häxan (1922)
In case your dramatized documentary invokes the wrath of worldwide censors objecting to graphic depictions of torture, nudity, sexual perversion, and anti-clericalism… you’re doing one thing proper. Directed and written by preeminent triple menace Benjamin Christensen (who additionally seems within the movie as Devil himself), Häxan gives one of the riotous and empathetic rundowns of the West’s superstitions surrounding witchcraft. In a collection of dramatic vignettes, Häxan explores the speculation that historic “witches” most probably suffered from what would now be thought of psychological sickness. Removed from self-serious, Häxan condemns the cruelty and ignorance of the previous with a gleeful grin, indulging in a veritable witches brew of darkish humor, abject horror, and unhinged expressionism. By casting a large and miraculously cohesive internet, Häxan manages to weave collectively a complete pathology for each witches and their accusers, addressing everything from sexual repression to misogyny-flavoured scapegoating. A exceptional century-old masterwork, Häxan is an important, unflinching, and delightfully debauched must-watch. (Meg Shields)
6. Bell Ebook and Candle (1958)
Whereas this 1958 witchy rom-com isn’t even near being a horror film, it does ship a wonderful cinematic witch within the type of Kim Novak’s Gil as she deceptively courts Jimmy Stewart’s Shep. Scorching off the heels of Vertigo, Bell, Ebook, and Candle is a decidedly lighter movie that also performs round with fairly a couple of energy dynamics. Spurred by an curiosity in Shep and a long-standing feud together with his fiancee, Gil units her sights on him whereas he stays clueless as to her true nature. And maybe the very best trick Gil might pull towards him, the one which trumps any of the particular magic, is the facility of Novak’s efficiency. She’s crafty, seductive, and effortlessly stunning; that she has Shep keen to go away his fiancee is not any shock. However she’s additionally charming and a very pleasant display screen presence. Positive, she begins as a little bit of a bit of labor, however Novak’s endlessly watchable efficiency ensures that it doesn’t matter what Gil will get as much as, we will’t assist however really feel bewitched by her. (Anna Swanson)
Associated Subjects: 31 Days of Horror Lists <!-- AUTHOR BOX -->
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