Great Films with Bewitching Plots
Though witches and witchcraft may have been a big part of films in the 20th Century, as time goes witches are becoming more of a novelty than a horror icon like the slashers of the 80’s. The stereotypical big nosed, broom riding hag is used more often than not in many on screen representations of witches, however thanks to a surge in the new age movement, people who ‘dabble’ in magic or support the idea of ‘good witches’ are leading a movement for more realistic representations of these people. At the same time horror movies are becoming more about jump scares than terrifying figures, though smaller productions are the ones that seem to be getting things right. If you want a more unconventional tale that touches on witchcraft and the paranormal then this selection should restore some hope for you.
Not exactly one you may think would be a great example, but although ParaNorman looks like a straight up spooky kids film it has a great story underneath it. Sure, it is meant for kids (though some elements may be a bit scary for younger ones), and from the offset it may seem like the story focuses on zombies more than anything else, but this is just the set up. At the heart of this tale is a tale of vengeance that is both dark and based around real events, great for onlooking adults, bad for easily disturbed children.
This indie hit is often talked about thanks to its fantastic tone that continues throughout its twisting and tense 93 minutes. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy in the lead role, this seemingly regular tale of a family in New England having troubles really puts you in a false sense of security. As the film goes on it seems that talk of witchcraft here is common and many unexplained phenomena are attributed to their dark ways, the problem is finding the culprit and fingers begin pointing in many directions. This film not only gives you a real sense of life at the time but also delivers great pacing, turns and highlights how fear can get the best of us.
Autopsy of Jane Doe
Though this may be a bit of a spoiler, this film does have a supernatural element to it. Here Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox continue to run their family business as coroners when a young attractive but unidentified woman’s body turns up on their doorstep. The body was found amongst the dead in a multiple homicide and it’s their job to figure out what happens. As they do what coroners do and take apart the victim’s body, it becomes clear that something very odd and threatening is behind it all in this film with superb build and tension.
Highly acclaimed was one of the best modern horrors of the last decade, this film directed by Ari Aster blew audiences away time and time again. Centred on a family who have just lost their grandmother, this tightly wound thriller will have you at the edge of your seat the whole time while the family’s grieving takes odd turns. Atmospheric, creepy and clever, this film has several moments which will catch you off guard and leads to a conclusion even more fascinating.