The Accuracy of Witchy Movies: What Did They Get Right?
Most witches know that they aren’t going to get an accurate representation of their craft on the big screen. It can be hard to get across the everyday magic and gentle ritual of many witches in a way that will engage a general audience. That doesn’t mean that witchy movies never get anything right!
Below, IGC takes a look at the accuracy of the most popular and well-known witchy movies. While there are a lot of fun fantasy elements in these movies, they don’t detract from some of the real witchcraft concepts and ideas the movies play with.
Practical Magic (1998)
Synopsis: Two sisters with a generational curse use their magic and sisterly bond to fight ex-lovers, supernatural threats, and their own fears and insecurities.
- Sally’s love spell seems as if it could be an effective, real spell. She makes her intentions clear and concise, and even though it backfires on her later in the movie, a real witch can see where that loophole is.
- The movie also shows multiple types of magic, such as divination, love spells, and herbal magic, as important, helpful, and worth learning.
- There’s an awful lot of necromancy in this movie. Most witches know better than to mess with the dead, and even if they did, it never manifests as a shambling corpse.
- The sisters form a full coven faster than most of us can form a Facebook group.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Synopsis: When a teenage boy lights the Black Flame Candle on Halloween night, he awakens the Sanderson sisters, three evil witch sisters who plan on eating the children of the town.
- Each Sanderson sister has her own special power, which is accurate to real world witches, who tend to find themselves drawn to a particular type of magic or spell work over others.
- Lighting a candle, especially a cool black one, is an effective way of “summoning” a witch! Instead of trying to kill you, though, they’ll just ask you a bunch of questions about the candle, what’s in it, and your intentions for your spell that night.
- As cool as it would be, witches can’t use broomsticks to fly, much less vacuum cleaners and other household cleaning tools.
- Obviously, no real-world witch is going to try to eat children’s souls or hurt a cat, especially a black one.
The Craft (1996)
Synopsis: A high school coven gets a little more than they bargained for when they use their magic for selfish desires.
- The movie spends a lot of time talking about how we are all connected and that all living things come from and are connected to the Earth. This is an important sentiment of witchcraft and is part of the reason why so many witches are activists of some kind!
- Nancy and the other teen witches “call the quarters,” a very real portion of a ritual where a witch evokes the energy and power of the four directions.
- The three-fold law comes into play when the girls’ spells start to backfire on them.
- Who or what the hell is Manon?
- Glamour spells are not as easy and accurate as Nancy Downs would have you believe.
- The girls’ spells for vanity, revenge, and power show results almost immediately, when a real-world spell, even one done with the right correspondences or at the correct moon phase, can take a long time to manifest.
A little bit of inaccuracy makes a witchy movie much more fun. After all, where would we be without our talking black cats, flying broomsticks, and dramatic storm magic? However, it’s just as interesting to see how accurate our favorite witchy movies are, proving that with a little bit of research, a good movie can have some positive and truthful witchcraft representation.
What movies did I miss? How do you feel about inaccurate witchcraft in your movies?
Author Bio: Nicole is an eclectic witch with interests in the Tarot, Celtic mythology, gemstones, and folk magic. She has recently graduated college from the University of Arizona and is looking forward to expanding her magical knowledge with Inked Goddess Creations.