Movie witches

We look back at some of the witches Hollywood has churned out over the years. Some are mesmerizing, some are hysterical, and some are downright terrifying. But all are memorable.

In no particular order…

The Witches of Eastwick (1987) – Susan Sarandon, Cher, and Michelle Pfeiffer star in this adaptation of John Updike’s novel about a bewitching group of black-magic women who are all seduced by the same Devilish man (played by Jack Nicholson, natch). MAGICAL MOMENT: Cher. And a bed of snakes.

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The Witches (1990) – Based on the book of the same name by Norwegian-British author Roald Dahl, this horror-fantasy-dramedy is practically a showcase for Anjelica Huston (above) to flaunt her devilish ways as the head of a coven that turns little children into mice — and eats them. MAGICAL MOMENT: A convention of witches rip off their wigs to reveal their true identities. And little moviegoing children everywhere scream in fear.

Hocus Pocus (1993) – Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy star in this childhood classic (my childhood, that is) that’s also a safe Halloween flick to pop in the DVD player come October. MAGICAL MOMENT: Sarah Jessica Parker sings (!) a haunting nursery rhyme to the children of Salem while flying on her broom and luring them to their eventual demises. Oh, and THIS.

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The Wizard of Oz (1939) – Possibly the grandmommy of all cinematic spellcasters, the Wicked Witch of the West is one nasty wench who finally gets her due. MAGICAL MOMENT: Those damn flying monkeys!

Practical Magic (1998) – Sandra Bullock, still reeling from the critical and box-office stinker that was Speed 2: Cruise Control, teamed up with Nicole Kidman one year later to play sisters unlucky in love, thanks to a curse that causes the men they date to die, in this soft-around-the-edges Lifetime Movie of a flick. MAGICAL MOMENT: Sandra and Nicole cast their first spell, surrounded by hundreds of lit candles — without setting setting off any fire alarms. Truly impressive.

The Craft (1996) – I can hear the pitch to the movie studio: “It’s Clueless with witches!” This criminally good black comedy about Catholic schoolgirls witchslapping the hell out of each other is an alternative 90s classic featuring a baby-faced Neve Campbell months before she played Scream heroine Sidney Prescott. MAGICAL MOMENT: Nancy pushes manwhore Chris (an equally baby-faced Skeet Ulrich) out of a window.

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Suspiria (1977) – Four words: nest of barbed wire.

The Blair Witch Project (1999) – The only movie on this list in which said witch never appears on screen. What made this late 90s indie hit so terrifying was its ability to tap into audience fears and allow their dark imaginations to run wild. MAGICAL MOMENT: That final eerie shot in a basement inside an abandoned house in the woods.

Teen Witch (1989) – Robyn Lively is Louise, a girl who just wants to be popular and capture the attention of the hottest boy in school (the official aspiration of all 80s teenagers). Luckily for her, Poltergeist‘s Zelda Rubenstein pops up to inform Louise of her witchy heritage. It’s so bad, it’s good (case in point: a musical number in a locker room and one random rap-off that’ll make you cringe). Unknown Tidbit: it was originally pitched as a female version of 1985’s Teen Wolf. MAGICAL MOMENT: Aforementioned rap-off.

Witchcraft (1988) – This direct-to-video cult classic spawned twelve (yes, 12) hellacious sequels and went on to become craptastic part of B-movie history. What is it about? A pregnant chick moves in to her mother-in-law’s creepy house and digs up a family secret. MAGICAL MOMENT: The end credits.

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BONUS: The Covenant (2006) – Four ripped teenaged male witches rule their school until a new kid (with equally bewitching powers) comes to town and stirs up some trouble. Otherwise known as The Movie Taylor Kitsch and Chace Crawford Wish They Never Made.

Hiko Mitsuzuka (@TheFirstEcho)

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