16 Witchy Movies To Watch This Halloween
Halloween time may look a lot different for most of us here in 2020, but we can still observe some of the more important traditions--like settling in to watch our favorite spooky movies, whether they're charming family-friendly classics or teeth-clenching horror shows. But there are so many fantastic seasonally-appropriate movies that picking what to watch can get overwhelming--especially if you're anything like us and have been binging through your favorite creepy movies for the entire duration of quarantine lockdown.
But if that's the case, fear not. We're here to help. We've narrowed down a list that focuses on one very specific sub-genre of spooky season favorites: Movies about witches. These movies range in rating and tone from fun-for-all-ages to incredibly traumatic, so you'll have no problem finding something that's exactly the speed you're looking for as you cope with the ennui of not being able to attend your favorite Halloween party or go run around in a haunted attraction with friends.
Here are 16 of our favorite witch movies, and where to stream them today.
1. The Craft
This mid-'90s classic was the blueprint for a whole generation of alternative kids. From the iconic "we're the weirdos, mister" line to the oddly specific and supernatural high school bully revenge fantasies, The Craft is a wonderful (if charmingly dated) look into the teen witch sub-genre that will never go out of style.
2. Suspiria (1977 or 2018)
Both versions of Suspira will give you a very different witch experience, so which you choose is really up to your own preference. The 1977 version is arguably a more artistic and stylized take on the story, but the 2018 version does have Tilda Swinton. Both are the story of a witch-controlled dance academy.
3. The Covenant
If The Craft is the blueprint for teen girl witches, The Covenant was the same for a coven of boys. Set in a prestigious private school home to four descendents of colonial witches, The Covenant may be a bit campy now, but it's well worth a watch. Also it stars a pre-Winter Soldier Sebastian Stan as one of the main antagonists, if you're looking for another excuse.
5. Practical Magic
Blending some light horror with romance and drama, Practical Magic is a witch movie for people who want something a bit less terrifying than something like Suspiria but a bit more serious than something like Hocus Pocus. Sanda Bullock and Nicole Kidman star as two sisters struggling against their family's curse.
6. The Blair Witch Project
The found footage movie that started the whole craze, The Blair Witch Project may not technically have any on-screen witches but we're still going to count it. Depending on your taste (and your ability to not get motion sick watching found footage), this might be one of the scariest movies on this list and it still holds up today. There was also a sequel, subtitled Book Of Shadows, and a third installment called The Blair Witch you could also check out--though your mileage may vary on either of them.
7. The VVitch
8. The Conjuring
The entire Conjuring franchise is worth a watch during the Halloween season, but only the first movie can actually fall under the witch movie umbrella. A fictionalized story of two real life paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, this movie is all about a house haunted by the restless spirit of a witch who used to own it.
9. Return To Oz
Okay, bear with us on this one, because if you didn't know that The Wizard of Oz had sequels, you're in for a ride. In this movie, Dorothy is sent to an asylum (no really) and subjected to electroshock therapy (no really), after her aunt becomes convinced that her trips to Oz are delusions. Dorothy eventually escapes via another trip to Oz, but the landscape isn't exactly what she remembers. Glinda and Elphaba are no more and instead, the land is ruled by a new witch named Mombi who beheads her subjects with magic, which allows her to remove her own head and replace it with that of her victims. Also, this is a kids movie, somehow. Just watch it.
10. Bedknobs and Broomsticks
On a significantly more lighthearted note, Angela Landsburry's cult classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks probably won't terrify you, but it will bring that wonderful and strange sort of uncanniness that comes from live-action/animation hybrids. Also it's a musical, which ought to win it some points.
11. Gretel & Hansel
12. Don't Knock Twice
This British horror movie borrows its witch lore from Scandenavian folklore. Don't Knock Twice is all about accidentally summoning the wrath of the Baba Yaga, a demonic witch who, traditionally, lives in a house perched upon chicken legs, but in this story, lives in the only "occupied" house located in a creepy neighborhood.
13. Drag Me To Hell
Drag Me To Hell has earned a place of honor among horror fans as a cult classic, thanks in part to its writer/director, the legendary Sam Raimi. This one's less of a direct witch movie and more focused on the fallout of a curse placed on its main characters by a witch, but, like The Blair Witch Project, we can't help but include it.
14. The Witches (1990)
Another family friendly offering, The Witches was recently remade for HBO Max, but we're going to recommend you stick with the classics on this one and go for the 1990 version, starring Anjelica Huston. It's all about a group of scrappy kids fighting against a coven of evil child-hating witches who turn them into mice, and it's just the right blend of creepy and cute.
16. Bell, Book and Candle
Finally, for anyone looking to celebrate spooky season with some vintage romance, the 1958 romantic comedy Bell, Book and Candle features golden age of Hollywood stars like Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, and James Stewart. It's all about a witch who casts a love spell on a neighbor and while it may not be terrifying, it's definitely charming.