Thursday Movie Picks: Witches/Warlocks

We're on to another month of Halloween with Wandering Through the Shelves! This week's theme is witches/warlocks. I went with witches because it's easier, and I tried not to use Harry Potter films even though it was so tempting. 

1) The Witch

Thomasin is a young woman whose family accuses her of being a witch. This film is a bit slow, but it's so wonderfully creepy and ends on a perfect note. 

2) Suspiria

This fancy ballet school may or may not be run by witches. It's gory and has one of the best sound tracks in any horror film. Thinking about it makes me want to rewatch it immediately. 

3) Sleep Hollow

A witch summons the Headless Horseman. This movie felt really salacious to me when it first came out. I think I was 12 when I saw it, and it was just strangely sexy. Maybe because Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci are so good looking. There was nothing overly scandalous about it.

28 comments:

  1. I haven't seen the first 2 and know I will skip the second because I don't like gory. The first one sounds creepy so I have marked this one down. I enjoyed Sleepy Hollow and Walkin just plays the perfect ghoul....he doesn't need any makeup :)

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    1. The Witch is very creepy and it's not overly gory at all. There's very little blood in it.

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  2. Same here, I wanted to do Harry Potter but then changed my mind. I'm glad you went with these three because I wasn't sure if they were worth a watch and now I know they do. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! They certainly are worth a watch, IMO.

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  3. I haven't seen your first pick but Suspiria is such an odd beast with its whacked out color scheme and strange sense of displacement. Why they couldn't leave well enough alone and now feel they can better it with a remake is beyond me. I sense a disaster brewing.

    Sleepy Hollow is a terrific catch, back when Johnny Depp was doing interesting work. Wonderful production design and a nice sense of foreboding. I haven't watched it in a while, I'll have to correct that.

    Overall I went with the lighter side of witchcraft today except my third choice and that was a last minute replacement for The Wicker Man which got so much notice last week.

    I Married a Witch (1942)-Condemned to being burned at the stake along with her father 17th century witch Jennifer (Veronica Lake) puts a curse on her accuser Jonathan Wooley (Fredric March) that he and all his descendants will marry the wrong women. Their spirits captured in a tree they’re unexpectedly freed 250 years later to discover the curse is still working with the latest Wooley (also March) engaged to marry a shrew (Susan Hayward). Full of mischief and revenge the troublemaking duo decide to raise even more of a ruckus by way of a love potion but complications ensue. Supported by an excellent cast the two leads make the picture, their extraordinary chemistry remarkable since behind the scenes each bitterly hated the other. You’d never guess from what’s on screen, they seem completely swept away. The best showcase Veronica ever had, she’s seductive, alluring, humorous, seeming to carry a gossamer glow with her wherever she goes. A light as air concoction directed at breakneck speed.

    Bell, Book and Candle (1958)-Modern day witch Gillian (Kim Novak) and her cat Pyewacket, live in 50’s Greenwich Village along with her Aunt Queenie (Elsa Lanchester) and impish cousin Nicky (Jack Lemmon). She meets publisher Shep (James Stewart) and on a lark, partly because he seems immune to her and partly because Shep is engaged to her old college rival Merle (Janice Rule), she decides to make him hers by casting a love spell. Trouble starts brewing though when Gillian finds herself actually falling for Shep. That’s more than a little problem since Gill will lose her powers if she falls in love with a human. What to do? The film suits Kim’s languid style and she looks a million.

    Black Sunday (1960)-In the diametric opposite of I Married a Witch cult star Barbara Steel is Asa, a 16th century high priestess of Satan executed, along with several of her followers, by having a spiked mask hammered into her face. As punishment is meted out she vows vengeance of her accusers returning 200 years hence to inhabit the body of her doppelganger and reap bloody retribution. Trendsetting Italian Gothic horror movie is loaded with atmosphere and style though short on actual frights, excepting those opening scenes, but is permeated with creepy dread.

    Unmissable Bonus-Bewitched (1964-1972)-Beautiful blonde Samantha Stevens lives on Morning Glory Circle in quaint Westport with her often exasperated adman husband Darrin and their adorable kids Tabatha and Adam, plus nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz, while her zany, often difficult family drop in frequently unannounced causing no end of troubles. Big troubles too since Samantha and all her relatives are witches who strongly disapprove of her marriage to a mere mortal. A monster TV hit in its day with a cast full of expert comic actors chief among them Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha/and her swingin’ cousin Serena, Agnes Moorehead as her firebrand of a mother Endora, Paul Lynde as jokester Uncle Arthur and Marion Lorne as the befuddled Aunt Clara this is often considered a subtle metaphor for interracial marriage at a time when that was causing much upheaval. Inspired in part by my first two picks. Avoid the ghastly 2005 remake at all costs!!!

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    1. Aww Bewitched! I used to watch that a little on Nick at Night. I haven't seen your picks though. I like that you went with lighthearted when I went with creepy.

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  4. The Witch was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO creepy. I still don't know how I feel about the ending, but it's all so good that I can set that quagmire aside.

    I also picked Suspiria, which really does have one of the all-time great movie scores. I remember loving Sleepy Hollow, but I haven't seen it in years. It deserves a re-watch.

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    1. I loved the ending. I was expecting ambiguous but they just fucking went for it.

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  5. The soundtrack in Suspiria is indeed one of best. I feel the film is almost operatic in the way the murders are staged, the kills are like a drama themselves...if that makes sense.

    Also, I thought we were gonna have the same picks as the first two were the same picks, but we went for a different film for final pick

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    1. I don't think I've ever matched up with someone for all three. One day I'm sure. lol

      I want to watch Suspria again.

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  6. Oh, The Witch! One of the best of 2017!

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  7. Suspiria, truly one of the great films about witches ever as I thought Sleepy Hollow was pretty good. I haven't seen The Witch> which I hope to see soon.

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  8. I've only seen The Witch. Slow, but creepy is definitely an apt description. Man, I gotta see Suspiria.

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  9. I loved The Witch! It's so wonderfully atmospheric and "real," and the ending surprised me in the best possible way.

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  10. Awesome choices all 3 of those. Sleepy Hallow is imho the most atmospheric movie Burton made

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    1. I agree there. It also seems so different from his other films at this point.

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  11. Excellent picks! I do want to see The Witch but I'm too creeped out by it. Sleepy Hollow!! Goood call on this film.

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    1. You've got to see it! It's not overly gory or anything.

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  12. Nice picks! The Witch is next on my scary movies to watch for October. Sounds good!!

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    1. I saw that you weren't a huge fan, but I'm glad you thought it was creepy!

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  13. Ahh I want to watch the Witch...heard so many good things.
    Sleepy Hollow - like the look of it... The sets, costumes...that's about it.

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    1. Burton's films are always easy on the eyes. I hope you get the chance to see The Witch.

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  14. The Witch didn't hit home for me, though I thought about picking it too. But Sleepy Hallow, damn, I missed out on recommending that.. one of my all time favorite Depp movies.. man, how did I miss that.. oh well. :D

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    1. That always happens to me. I miss the obvious pick that I would've loved to have chosen.

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