Welcome to the list of my own 10 Favorite Witchy Movies. Are they predictable? Absolutely. They are at once predictable and cliche. There glaring omissions that will cause readers to say, “But what about…?” and “YOU LEFT OUT..!” This is not a list of ALL Witchy movies or the BEST Witchy movies, but my own favorite Witchy movies. Because it would be like choosing my favorite children, these are listed in no particular order, but are the top ten favorites from a wonderful line of magical films I have enjoyed in my life.
Kiki’s Delivery Service – 1989
Based on the 1985 novel of the same name written by Eiko Kadono, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, this lovely anime movie is a favorite among young adults and this old broad as well. A young Witch named Kiki moves to a new town with her talking black cat, Jiji, to earn a living using her flying ability (she’s thirteen, but just go with it). Hijinks ensue. The beautiful thing about the lovely animated film is that the fact that she is a Witch is treated as no big thing. There is no shame and no negative connotation assigned to it.
The Wicker Man – 1973
This movie is near and dear to the hearts of many Pagans and a few things are assured by the time you reach the end of the movie: – You will never listen to the song “Gently Johnny” in the same way again. – You will never want a protagonist to die more than you do by the time this movie’s hero goes up on flames (⇐ spoiler alert). – You will acknowledge that banging on a wall never looked so good. – You will know without a doubt that Christopher Lee is not just A Man, but is The Man. – You will learn to go home when you you go to a mysterious island and every character in the script tells you to go home. Hint: Never, ever watch the remake (“THE BEES! NOT THE BEES!) or the sequel, called The Wicker Tree (“SILVER RING, STEVE!”). Just…don’t. You can never, ever get that time back.
Stardust – 2007
In this list’s first showing of Michelle Pfeiffer as a fabulous Witch, Stardust brings not only Pfeiffer at her Witchy best, but princes vying for a throne, Robert De Niro as a cross-dressing pirate who bottles and sells lightning, and Claire Danes as a fallen star. This fantasy film, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel by the same name, keeps action going from start to finish.
Four Rooms – 1995
Four Rooms is a composite movie with four separate stories directed by four different directors, all meeting in the middle through a bellhop played by Tim Roth. The Witchy segment is “Honeymoon Suite – The Missing Ingredient, written and directed by Allison Anders, starring Madonna, Ione Skye, Alicia Witt, Sammi Davis, and Valeria Goleno, as a coven of sultry Witches attempting to create a potion to reverse a spell cast on their goddess, Diana (Amanda De Cadenet) forty years ago. Each Witch must place an ingredient into a large cauldron in a ritual; but one of the Witches (Ione Skye) neglected to bring her ingredient – semen – and has one hour to obtain it. It sounds hoaky and it is, but the ritual they perform in the movie is fantastic. The clip above is in Italian, but shows the ritual at its finest and I could not find a clip of it in English, so just play along nicely.
The Witches of Eastwick – 1987
The next Michelle Pfeiffer favorite has Pfeiffer paired with Susan Sarandon and Cher as they conjure up what they see as the perfect man, Daryl Van Horne, who is really the devil played by Jack Nicholson. The women pull up their power hard, swim in the glory of it, then find themselves trapped by Van Horne. In the end, they take charge and hell hath no fury like a pissed off Witch. Based on the John Updike novel by the same title, this film hits all the right spots.
The Craft – 1996Directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True, this movie was the anthem for bullied and marginalized teens who were different from the candy coated jock and cheerleader force in high school. The overall message of the film is less than healthy, saying that if women take up their own power and fight back, bad things happen, but the cinematics are beautiful and the movie’s punch is great while it lasts.
Bewitched – 2005
Many will disagree with this moving being on my list (hey, my list), but I thought Nicole Kidman was just cute as a bug’s ear in a story about Isabel, a real Witch who is hired to play the consummate TV Witch, Samantha Stephens, in a remake of the classic TV show. A love story ensues between Isabel and the narcissistic leading man, Jack Wyatt (played by Will Farrell), but the real scene stealers are Michael Caine as Isabel’s father, Nigel Bigelow, and Shirley MacLaine as Iris Smythson, who plays Endora.
Plus, this movie gave us a fantastic shirt:
Practical Magic – 1998
This movie is why these are not ranked because I could not possibly choose between this and The Wicker Man. The aunties…oh my, the aunties… Please Goddess, let me be one of the aunties.
The Butcher’s Wife – 1991
Like The Wicker Man, the lead character in The Butcher’s Wife is never identified as a Witch, but magic is a strong theme of the movie in which a clairvoyant young woman named Marina, played by Demi Moore, dreams her future husband will come to her. Leo, a butcher played by (George Dzundza), shows up on the tiny island where she lives and they immediately marry and move to New York City where she helps her neighbors and ultimately, her husband, find true love through her visions while working in the butcher’s shop.
The Skeleton Key – 2005
For many of us, this thriller was what laid the groundwork for an avid interest in the practice of HooDoo. Far from scaring us off as it would the muggles watching and, in fact, main character, hospice worker, Caroline Ellis (Kate Hudson), the movie’s portrayal of this hands on, no nonsense magical practice woke me right up out of a ceremonial slumber and recharged my Witchy batteries. No, the movie is not overtly Witchcraft oriented, but it is definitely magic and I still wonder how the hell she got such a giant jar of brick dust. That stuff is murder to break up. I am sure you have your own favorites and I celebrate them right along with you. Talk to me about them in the comments section!