Witches are having a bit of a moment. Of course, that’s not exactly new; the figure of the witch has been a dark fascination for humanity throughout the ages, and a favorite of filmmakers and audiences since the earliest days of cinema. But their popularity comes and goes in waves, and right now, we’re in the biggest witch boom since the 90s heyday of Sabrina, Willow, Nancy and the Sanderson Sisters.
With Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Amazon’s Suspiria remake putting their spells on audiences in the past year, let’s take a look at a few of the best witch movies ever made to get you in that spooky Halloween spirit. Grab the broom, fire up some candles, and spark the cauldron, because I’m looking back at some of my favorite witch movies of all time when I’m in need of a magical mood.
But again, there’s no shortage of great witch films out there. These are my personal favorites, and they’re just scratching the surface. If you’re looking for horror, you can’t go wrong with Mario Bava‘s Black Sunday, George Romero‘s Season of The Witch, Lucky McKee‘s The Woods, the recent Spanish horror comedy Witching & Bitching, or the silent fictionalized documentary Häxan, which is filled to the brim with iconic witchcraft imagery and really sets the mood with its hypnotic score.
If you want something a little more family friendly, you can get your fill of witches in The Wizard of Oz (or it’s creepier, witchier sequel Return to Oz), the spirited Studio Ghibli delight Kiki’s Delivery Service, Matthew Vaughn’s Neil Gaimanadaptation Stardust (which also stars Robert DeNiro as a queer sky pirate, so get on that), the charming Kim Novak classic Bell Book and Candle, or watch Angela Lansbury wield magic against the Nazis in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and of course, any of the Harry Potter films. But now, with further ado, here are my favorite witch movies for an enchanting Halloween.