They definitely cast a spell. Get a dose of double double toil and trouble with these flicks now a’brewin’ on Netflix Instant.
Any movie that features Jack Nicholson throwing a philosophical temper tantrum in a church and Veronica Cartwright violently vomiting more cherry pits than a human body can hold definitely gets a gold star in our book. Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer are bored single ladies aching for a one-of-a-kind romantic/sexual adventure; a little black magic conjures up the perfect man: the Devil himself, in the form of Daryl Van Horne (Nicholson). Wild nights of reckless abandon ensue, but things soon start taking a dark turn (of course), leading to a climactic showdown featuring a giant Devil-Jack (or something). A truly goofy horror comedy, The Witches of Eastwick is full of tricks and treats — and Jack certainly looks to be having a blast (how could he not?).
Dario Argento‘s loud, clanging, eye-melting phantasmagoria isn’t so much a movie to be watched as it is to be assaulted by, as a new student at a prestigious ballet school soon discovers the place is run by cackling, broom-riding witches. Suspiria is an exercise in overkill in every possible department to the point where you’ll wonder if the whole thing isn’t one big put-on — the colors in particular are so extreme and outlandish that you’ll think you’re going insane, though the endless overbearing score (by Goblin, of course) may toss you over the edge first. Don’t get us wrong, this flick’s a treat and a half — you may just want to lock yourself in a room for a day or two after experiencing it to decompress.
A lighter look at witchery, Practical Magic stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as two witch sisters haunted by an unfortunate curse: every man that falls for them dies. But what’s a girl gonna do, stay single? A shot at true love is worth the risk of death, isn’t it? Sandra and Nicole are cute, of course, but Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest completely steal the show (and every other one on the block) as their eccentric witch-aunts. (“Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest steal the show” probably goes without saying, no matter the context, yes?) It’s all silly fun, despite the rather macabre premise and high body count.
A nasty little teen horror flick that has no right being as entertaining as it is, The Craft stars Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell (pre-Scream) and Rachel True as a coven of high school witches whose fun and games with super-cool black magic soon turn deadly — especially when it becomes clear that Balk is completely batsh** insane. It’s a blast watching the girls cast love spells, conjure curses and get revenge on their tormentors, leading up to a truly crazy final showdown between Balk and Tunney (as the nice girl who doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, at least not too much), flying through the air and zapping each other with their witchy powers. Awesome.
Stuart Gordon’s umpteenth attempt to do good by H.P. Lovecraft is actually one of the director’s better returns to the well, with the low budget and limitations of a Masters of Horror episode forcing the usually bombastic and over-the-top filmmaker to create something smaller and more intimate (albeit one that features a rat with a human face that eventually eats someone alive). A college student takes a room in an old dark house, soon befriending the cute single mom down the hall; a few nightmares later, he’s being forced by an ancient witch to sacrifice mom’s baby to the Devil. One of the best MoH episodes of the series’ first season, and definitely one of the better Lovecraft adaptations out there (and, let’s face it, there aren’t many).