Best Witch Movies: Top 5 Spellbinding Films Most Recommended By Fans

We at StudyFinds think a coven meeting is especially in order as we list the best witch movies you can watch. From the Sanderson sisters belting “I Put A Spell On You” to Nancy Downs screaming, “he’s sorry,” these spellbinding cinema moments have lived in our psyche since the first time we saw them. Whether you’re a fan of classic witch films featuring characters like the Wicked Witch of the West or prefer more recent takes, there’s sure to be something for everyone on this list. These movies not only transport us to a world of spells and magic but also remind us of the power and strength that lies within women. So, grab your broomsticks and spell book and get ready as we embark on a bewitching movie marathon that will leave you spellbound.

Of course, the Halloween season doesn’t only bring legends and tales about witches; It’s also the perfect time to pop in a horror flick. A survey of 2,000 Americans celebrating Halloween finds 66 percent believe watching a horror film is a fun escape from real life. The poll, commissioned by Tubi, finds there’s no movie more iconic than “Halloween.” The slasher film classic was followed by “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream” as the top three Halloween films of all time. Of course, no great horror movie is complete without a great villain. Americans voted Freddy Krueger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street” as the best baddie of Halloween night, with Michael Myers of “Halloween” just edging out Norman Bates from “Psycho” for second place. 

But where did these modern-day traditions of Halloween celebrations come from? Built from a hodgepodge of diverse parts, Halloween is one such tradition that has been continually reinvented since its ancient origins as a Celtic pagan ceremony. Yet beneath the superhero costumes and bags of candy, it still beats the heart of the original. The Celts lived in what’s now Ireland as far back as 500 B.C. They celebrated New Year’s Day on Nov. 1, which they called Samhain. They believed that leading up to the transition to the new year, the door between the worlds of the living and the dead swung open. The souls of the recently dead, previously trapped on Earth, could now pass to the underworld. Since they thought spirits came out after dark, this supernatural activity reached its peak the night before, on Oct. 31. The Celts invented rituals to protect themselves during this turbulent time. They put on costumes and disguises to fool the spirits. If all else failed, they carried a pocketful of treats to pay off wayward spirits and send them back on their way to the underworld. Is this starting to sound a little familiar? Today, Halloween is known for its festive decorations, costume parties, haunted houses, and, of course, the spooktacular movies we get to enjoy along the way.

Have no fear, as we at StudyFinds have researched across multiple expert sources to bring you today’s list of the top five best witch movies of all time. Don’t agree with our list? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. 

A witch holding a cat
A witch holding a cat (Photo by Cristina Hernández on Unsplash)

The List: Best Witch Movies, According to Experts


1. “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

The first spot undeniably belongs to “The Wizard of Oz.” Featuring what may be the most iconic movie witch of all time is this 1939 classic. “Judy Garland became a major star playing a young farm girl from Kansas who is swept away by a tornado to a magical land where she comes between two polar-opposite witches and learns a timeless lesson: There’s no place like home,” describes Parade.

"The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

“Frank Morgan’s wizard may get titular billing, but it is Margaret Hamilton’s vengeance-seeking Wicked Witch of the West (and her platoon of flying monkeys) who brings the scares in this terrifying-for-small-kids classic movie musical,” explains EW.

“Ranked fourth on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest movie villains of all time, the green-skinned baddie has become the prototypical image of a witch, complete with a pointed black hat and a broomstick. Spurred on by Dorothy’s accidental killing of her sister, she’s all about vengeance, complete with a hoard of flying monkeys to help her in her nefarious quest,” notes AARP.

2. “The Witch” (2015)

Second up on our list, we lean into the horror genre with the 2015 supernatural film “The Witch.” “Robert Eggers’ feature directorial debut pits paranoia against the supernatural via an unforgiving family drama anchored in the harsh stakes of Puritan faith. When a baby is snatched from the arms of his older sister Thomasin — a dazzling early-career Anya-Taylor Joy — the children’s grieving parents seek retribution,” says IndieWire.

“The Witch” (2015)

“Ah, witch cinema’s supreme. ‘The Witch’ is set in a time that is inherently frightening: the woods of 17th-century New England in the throes of religious fanaticism. A father is banished from a Puritan colony thanks to his pride and takes his family to live on the outskirts of a secluded forest. They are quickly targeted by a witch who lives deep within – she picks apart the sinful family,” adds GamesRadar.

“The sheer scariness of Robert Eggers’ unrelenting, unnerving tale, ‘The Witch’ — which only involves a small wooden house and the nearby woods — is a prime example of just how impactful horror can be when it’s composed and precise. ‘The Witch,’ as wicked as it is, winds up being a tense and thought-provoking argument for living deliciously,” writes IGN.

3. “Suspiria” (1977)

The third spot belongs to the 1977 original “Suspiria.” A visually stunning movie by Dario Argento, the film follows “an American woman who travels to Germany to enroll in a renowned dance academy, only to discover the ballet school is a front for a sinister coven. But the plot hardly matters because this is one of the most singularly beautiful movies you’ll ever see. See also: Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 ‘Suspiria,’ an arthouse body-horror update on the original featuring limb-crunching choreography, Tilda Swinton, Tilda Swinton, and — oh, yeah — Tilda Swinton,” raves Vulture.

“Suspiria” (1977)

“No filmmaker has captured the dark, light, menace, and mystery of witchcraft in a single frame like Dario Argento, whose hugely celebrated ‘Suspiria’ reigned supreme as one of the definitive best movies about witches for nearly 40 years. The technicolor shadows of a German dance school haunt a young American ballerina, played by a transfixing Jessica Harper, in this mood-first meditation on occult terror,” comments IndieWire.

“Dario Argento’s ‘Suspiria’ is a paragon of paranoia. An atrocious exhibit of off-kilter camera work, devilish design, and crazed colors crashing over a loosely-tethered plot. The story of a ballet student who unravels a conspiracy involving a cabal of witches, ‘Suspiria,’ is like walking through a nightmare at times as Argento proves masterful at creating an environment and a world that is uniquely its own thing. The gruesome, convoluted killings, the garish color palette, the freaked-out sound (including a haunting score by Goblin), ‘Suspiria’ is a hellish hallmark,” says IGN.

4. “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989)

“Kiki’s Delivery Service” is an enchanting animated film set in a whimsical world where witches live among humans. “Kiki is a 13-year-old witch in training, and when witches turn 13, they get on their brooms and fly off for a year of solo training in the magical arts. Leaving at midnight on a full moon, Kiki and her sardonic black cat Jiji fly to a picturesque city by the sea, where she starts an airborne delivery service and makes some lifelong friends along the way,” explains The Mary Sue.

“Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989)

“Miyazaki’s ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service,’ adapted from the 1985 novel by Eiko Kadono, is a gorgeous, heartwarming Studio Ghibli movie about a young witch trying to find her place in the worldThis is a charming coming-of-age fable about overcoming self-doubt and recognizing one’s own worth,” write IGN

“There are two basic types of witch movies. In one corner, you have the scary witches, the witches of fairytales and nightmares and folklore. On the opposite end, there are the cute witches, the witches who use their powers for good and whose magical abilities are the cause of hijinks and comedy. The best cute witch film, by far, is Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service,’ a delightful comfort watch and one of the legendary director’s most beloved movies,” reports IndieWire.

5. “The Witches of Eastwick” (1987)

If one were to dream up the perfect female-led cast, the list of actresses would look like “The Witches of Eastwick.” A 1987 supernatural dramedy classic, “this one takes the term manifestation to a whole new level! Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon are all witches, unbeknownst to them. They begin to figure things out when the things they say out loud become true, time after time. Though, when a mysterious, charming man enters their lives at once, things shake up for the worst,” describes The Pioneer Woman.

“The Witches of Eastwick” (1987)

“Three gorgeous witches who are eager to find the right man are enchanted by the mysterious Daryl Van Horne—although there’s much more to him than meets the eye. While the trio of witches are delightful to watch, it’s Nicholson’s comedic talent that steals the show,” remarks PureWow.

“A trio of witches — played by Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer — summon up the ideal man. Enter Jack Nicholson’s ‘horny little devil.’ George Miller directs, in his first non-’Mad Max’ outing, from the novel by John Updike. Come for the air of louche sexuality, the terrific performances from the three female leads, and Nicholson’s larger-than-larger-than-life performance. Stay to see Veronica Cartwright’s uptight rumormonger vomit her weight in cherry stones,” concludes EW.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Jilly Hite

New York raised and Florida-based Jilly Hite studied screenwriting and theatre at The Lee Strasberg Institute before becoming a full time content creator and podcaster. She loves old movies, musical theatre, and her pup Ted.

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  1. Another great witch movie not listed is Practical Magic. It’s about 2 sisters who come from a long line of witches in their family who use their powers to help them find true love.

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