10 Good Movies about Witches

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:55 pm

If you’ve ever fantasized about flying on a broom or cursing your obnoxious neighbor, then you’ll want to check out these 10 good movies about witches before the local townsfolk burn you at the stake. The belief in witches has been around for centuries, but it really got things stirred up in Europe in the 14th to 18th centuries. Large scale witch-hunts were conducted, and it’s estimated that 40,000 to 60,000 people (mostly women) were put to death in particularly nasty ways. Sadly, the practice is still alive and well in countries such as Kenya and Saudi Arabia.

For those who would like to avoid a grisly demise, Netflix allows you to watch good movies about witches away from the prying eyes of your bloodthirsty neighbors. There are no late fees, and the Netflix library numbers over 100,000 films. So put down that spell book and click on this link to become a member.

Suspiria (1977) – The first film in director Dario Argento’s “Three Mothers” trilogy, Suspiria is about a young American ballerina (Jessica Harper) who arrives at a prestigious dance school in Germany. But the body count starts up the same night she arrives, beginning with what Entertainment Weekly has described as “the most vicious murder scene ever filmed.” From there, maggots fall from the ceiling, a blind man has his throat ripped out by his guide dog, and Udo Kier hones the creepy look and delivery that would serve him well for decades. Yes, there are witches, but I don’t want to spoil the plot. Rent it and find out for yourself (unless you live in Germany, where it’s still banned).

Krabat (2008) – Set in Europe during the 17th century, Krabat follows the title character (David Kross), a young man who takes a job at a mill in order to survive the aftermath of the plague sweeping across the land. But the mill holds a horrible secret, one which threatens his very soul and the life of the nearby village girl he’s fallen in love with.

Chocolat (2000) – The sensual tale of Vianna Rocher (Juliette Binoche), a woman who settles down in a small French village and opens up a store specializing in chocolates. But this isn’t just any ordinary chocolate, as eating it can invoke love or personal harmony in even the most miserable person. As she changes the lives of residents and struggles against the devout local mayor (Alfred Molina), she falls in love with a gypsy (Johnny Depp) camped on the outskirts of town. Melding passion and magic, the film was a major hit at the box office and received five Academy Award nominations.

The Craft (1996) – Robin Tunney is Sarah Bailey, a willful teen who enrolls in a Catholic high school in Los Angeles. Before long, she’s approached by a group of fellow students (Neve Campbell, Fairuza Balk, and Rachel True) who everyone believes to be witches. They’re right, and the girls are convinced that Sarah is the missing fourth member required for great magical power. But such abilities always come at a high price, and soon their rituals go too far. A decent little horror flick with four ultra-hot female leads.

Bell, Book and Candle (1959) – Based on a hit Broadway play, the film stars James Stewart as a publisher who wins the heart of a free-spirited witch (Kim Novak). The excellent supporting cast includes Jack Lemmon as a warlock and Ernie Kovacs as an author researching a book on the occult. The last film to star Stewart as a romantic lead, it would be the second film to feature he and Novak together (Vertigo was released earlier in 1959).

If you’re looking for more than just 10 good movies about witches, click here to become a member of Netflix.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) – If you’ve never experienced the magic of the Harry Potter series, then this is the place to start. The first film in the blockbuster franchise, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone follows the young title character (Daniel Radcliffe) as he learns of his sorcerous bloodlines and the ever-looming menace of the sinister Lord Voldemort (played in later films by Ralph Fiennes). Rescued from his cruel relatives, Harry is whisked away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he soon befriends fellow magic users Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). From there, it’s a non-stop series of wonderments and dangers, and the supporting cast is filled with the cream of the British acting world (no Americans allowed).

I Married a Witch (1942) – Veronica Lake and Fredric March star in this romantic comedy about a Salem witch burned at the stake who casts a curse on all the men of a particular family (they’re doomed to always marry the wrong woman). When her spirit is finally freed from captivity, she sets out to personally seduce the latest member of the line with hilarious results. Adapted from the novel The Passionate Witch.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987) – Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon star as three women who’ve been abandoned by the men in their lives. Enter Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson): a mysterious stranger who blows into town, buys the creepy mansion on the hill, and proceeds to seduce all three ladies. But there’s more to Mr. Van Horne than meets the eye, and the women soon learn that their newfound magical powers come with a price. An entertaining blend of the comedy and horror genres.

The Witching (1972) – Also known by the title Necromancy, this film stars none other than acting/directing legend Orson Welles. He plays the leader of a coven who needs the special powers of a young woman (Pamela Franklin) in order to resurrect his son. Okay, this movie is actually pretty rotten, but how often do you get to see the director and star of Citizen Kane appear in a movie about the supernatural? Watch it for Welles, but be warned about the rest.

The Juniper Tree (1990) – Based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, this Icelandic film revolves around two sisters (Bjork and Bryndis Petra Bragadottir) who go on the run after their mother is killed for being a witch. When they encounter a widower, one of the siblings wastes no time in using magic to win his love. Meanwhile, the other sister befriends the man’s son and grapples with her conscience. Filmed in black and white, it’s essential viewing for fans of Bjork.

That’s our look at 10 good movies about witches. I hope you enjoyed this romp through the land of the supernatural, and don’t forget to join Netflix for even more films related to witchcraft and sorcery. We get a small commission when you sign up, but it adds nothing to your final price.

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