What is a witch? Well, they come in all shapes and sizes and just like the rest of us some are good, and some are bad. There was a time these practitioners of the mystic arts were seriously misunderstood and poorly treated. Also referred to as sorceress, enchantress, necromancer; Wiccan druid priests and priestesses that worship the forces of nature. Witches have been with us for a long time, even before recorded history. They are so ingrained in our consciousness we now take their existence for granted in a modern world that mostly no longer believes in magic.
Witches! It’s a word is synonymous with Halloween, also known as the Witch’s Sabbath. It’s a word that conjures pointed hats, cauldrons filled with unsavory ingredients, dancing in the moonlight naked, flying on broomsticks, and black cats, lots of black cats, These were the calling cards of any self-respecting old school witch like The Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard Of Oz (1939)
Of course, there’s also the more modern aesthetic that has witches looking pretty much just like anyone else, with no apparent distinguishing characteristics, but no less capable of casting spells and doing magicks, as introduced in Bell, Book, and Candle (1958) which probably served as inspiration for Bewitched
Apparently, witches like show-biz, or the other way around, because following these initial offerings, and following this trend of making witches less horrifying, was a succession of TV and movie witches, in fact, our pop culture is full of them and not just western pop culture, but in Asia witches have been a staple of story-telling for centuries.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy make an excellent and memorably amusing Three Stooges Impression as the three half-wit witch sisters that were the best part of the somewhat silly kid’s movie Hocus Pocus (1993)
Next, we have a witch of another kind and my personal favorite. Instead of a grotesque cliched stereotype or comedic distraction, Angelina Jolie portrays the eponymous Maleficent (2014) as a real woman with real feelings who is betrayed, and how she responds and eventually triumphs. This film surprised me; I was expecting another Disney fairy-tale princess story, but it turned out to be so much more. It’s an excellent film.
UPDATE 3/6/2019: We have news about the long-gestating sequel.
Maleficent 2 is now called Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and its release date has been shifted from May 2020 to this coming October 18, 2019. The only film currently slated for release that weekend is an untitled Blumhouse horror movie, and it lands one week after Zombieland 2: Double Tap and the Will Smith-fronted Gemini Man. The only other family film currently slated for release in the whole month of October is the animated adaptation of The Addams Family, so one imagines Maleficent 2 could do quite well here.
The cast for the film also includes Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith and Harris Dickinson as Prince Philip, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, and Robert Lindsay filling out the new additions. Reprising their roles from the first Maleficent are Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville.
Next, we wrap things up with a series that I thought was pretty good, Charmed (1998- 2006) was part romance novel and part supernatural thriller, a show that was pretty consistently entertaining and a well-crafted production. A reboot of the series recently premiered on the CW
Well, that’s all I have for now, is your favorite TV or movie witch not here? Let me know what I missed in the space provided for comments below.