There is something fascinating about witches and sorcery, and many films have been made about the occult. As a subject, black magic is open to all genres and audiences, including children (hocuspocus, Harry Potter) – but its mature themes make it a perfect choice for horror.
Black magic serves the same purpose of instilling fear and terror, and the titles below do just that. These horror films use the history and practices associated with witchcraft to bring terror and nightmares to their viewers, and are must-watch movies for supernatural horror fans.
The job is a stylish teen horror film directed by Andrew Fleming, about a group of witches at a Catholic high school in Los Angeles. Originally a group of three, Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True) are looking for a fourth member to complete their rituals and find one in transfer student Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney ). With the coven complete, the witches’ powers are stronger than ever, but Sarah fears they have become corrupted.
fans of Heathers and mean girls will like The job, which is both exciting and fun. Released over twenty years ago, the film has since become a cult classic, receiving praise for its feminist message and fantastic cast. Fairuza Balk, responsible for the iconic line, “We’re the weirdos, sir,” is particularly brilliant as Nancy, and fans of the original will be happy to see her (briefly) return as Zoe Lister-Jones. The profession: heritage (2020).
Presented as a documentary lived within a documentary, The Blair Witch Project is Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s horror film about three student filmmakers – Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams – who venture into the forest of Maryland to cover the incidents of Blair Witch. What starts out as a fun project quickly becomes a living nightmare when the group loses their map and finds themselves lost in the woods.
Produced on a budget of $60,000, the film earned $248.6 million at the worldwide box office, making it one of the highest-grossing independent horror films of all time. The Blair Witch Project also held the record for highest-grossing debut for a writer-director based on an original screenplay until 2017, when it was broken by Jordan Peele get out. But the most important, The Blair Witch Project revived the found footage genre and showed that atmosphere is everything in a horror film.
Robert Egger’s first feature film, The witch, follows a Puritan family in 1630 in New England who leave their village following a religious dispute and come to settle in the woods. Soon, strange things start to happen, and when youngest son Samuel goes missing, all eyes are on eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), whose mother (Kate Dickie) starts the rumor that she is a witch.
The witch is one of A24’s most successful horror films and has marked the studio as a must-watch. Both a critical and financial success – the film grossed $40 million against a budget of $4 million – it also catapulted Anya Taylor-Joy to fame and won her several awards, including the Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor. The witch is another example of a great atmospheric horror film, as it relies on suspense to scare audiences and does so successfully.
A remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 cult classic, Suspiria is director Luca Guadagnino’s supernatural horror film about a world-renowned dance company and young American dancer Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson), new to it. Set in 1970s Berlin, the film sees Susie land the role of principal dancer and grapple with accusations of witchcraft against the directors of the company.
Although Guadagnino Suspiria is lower rated than the original, it has many notable elements, one being its soundtrack, written by Thom Yorke of Radiohead. An unexpected, yet brilliant choice of songwriter, Yorke’s score is hauntingly ethereal and his song “Suspirium” was even nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 62nd Grammy Awards. The cinematography provided by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom is just as stunning as the original.
The unfortunate is a low-budget indie horror film directed by the Pierce Brothers and stars John-Paul Howard as Ben, a defiant teenager who moves to live with his father (Jamison Jones) after his parents divorce. There, he discovers that his neighbor (Zarah Mahler) is possessed by a millennial witch. Befriending his teenage colleague Mallory (Piper Curda), Ben forces the latter to help him defeat the witch and chaos ensues.
The unfortunate had its world premiere in 2019 and was set to hit theaters in 2020 when the pandemic hit. With cinemas closed, the film’s distribution company, IFC films, opened The unfortunate to drive-ins, ultimately saving the film and making the first since Avatar (2009) topped the box office for six consecutive weeks. The movie itself may not be groundbreaking, but it’s worth watching for fans of popcorn horrors.
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