Kelly's October Pick
This month’s theme is about the depictions of witches in horror cinema, along with the concept of empowerment that is ingrained in the image of the witch. This is actually a relatively new concept to me and not one I have paid much attention to over the years. Spinster #1 is the expert on this, comparatively! As a confident, 35 year old woman who has her shit together, I am am very intrigued by them.
My main introduction to witches in cinema was The Craft. It was released in 1996 and I was a young gothic, horror loving teen at that time looking for anything non-conformist. The Craft came into my life at the exact perfect time and it kicked my ass! It quickly became a favorite film of mine and it continues to be important to this day.
We see four outcasted and emotionally upset teens dealing with the harsh social reality of high school. God, who actually liked high school? We have our four witches: Sarah, Bonnie, Rochelle and Nancy. Sarah, our sweet natural witch, has a troubled past and has dealt with some mental illness and suicide. Bonnie, scarred by a fire that we don’t get to know much about, feels that she isn’t attractive by societal standards. We have Rochelle, harassed daily by a bleach blonde racist. And then there is Nancy, the dark Queen of the Night, gothic witch who is considered “trailer trash” and lives in a troubled home. Although I could not relate directly to the plights of these wonderful individuals overall, I still felt like an outsider in this brilliantly lit, pep rally, popular kids rule the school world. I did, however, try to aesthetically take on the role of Nancy, though she has a power and presence I could never attain. The image of her walking down the driveway to get to the party to confront Chris - bright white vampiric skin, donned in pitch black layered beautiful clothing, jet black hair - is still a moment where my heart swoons!
These women gained empowerment through their close knit friendship and witchcraft. I myself had a group of female friends whom I spent many a nights with. After we became obsessed with this movie, we decided to become witches. I would scour the internet (which was new at that time) for websites and resources all related to witchcraft. I printed out pages of spells and rituals, and we went into the woods regularly trying to spot the perfect places to do these things. We organized sleepovers where we would play the Ouija board and “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board”. We gained a new found confidence in not only ourselves, but our places in this world. This is something that carried through into my adulthood and helped create the woman you see today.
I then discovered that I am actually an Atheist and dispatched all the witchcraft related items shortly after and haven’t looked back.
Honorable mention: Robert Eggers fantastically wonderful and brilliant debut film, The VVitch, re-invoked the image of the witch for me. The empowerment of making our *own*choices in our lives as women is what makes us human. Satan is also a total babe...