The Love Witch (15)

Rachel Baker checks out this giallo inspired flick. Will it do the genre justice, or just fall flat?

Rachel Baker
20th March 2017

Ithink if I had any idea what The Love Witch was parodying, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more. But I’m assuming everything of the variety has been lost in time for being utterly shit.

At moments you genuinely believe you’re watching a contemporary sequel to The Stepford Wives. And then suddenly a BMW X5 appears and the illusion is clumsily shattered. I would really love to know why Anna Biller wanted the entire mis-en-scene to be 70s inspired, other than the cars on the road.

Written and directed by Anna Biller, The Love Witch is hands down the weirdest film I’ve seen in years. Inspired by pulp novels of the 70s, and the colourful cinema that dominated the screen at the time, The Love Witch tells the story of Elaine, a modern day witch looking for love. There’s a big focus on the fact she’s not an evil witch, despite the fact she seems to be responsible for the death of so many around her, and the community she lives in is bizarrely aware but only vaguely unaccepting of her occult ways. I understand that all of this is meant to be a homage back to times been and gone, but I have to put my hands up and say I just didn’t get it.

"Written and directed by Anna Biller, The Love Witch is hands down the weirdest film I’ve seen in years"

I was in stitches at the parody of 70s cinematic conversation, especially between Elaine and other female characters. Awkward exchanges about used tampons and how to ‘get your man back’ make you think ‘Thank God’ for feminism or just any development in cinematic stock characters.

So the film was funny, but as someone who doesn’t understand the genre, I didn’t see how a two hour parody of a type of film we’d long said goodbye to was necessary, or enjoyable for the whole running time. It felt like a 45 minute skit gone on too long, resurrecting everything we should be proud to have left behind in film.

More like this: Witchcraft (1964)

Rating: 6/10

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