The Love Witch

I watched the 2016 horror movie The Love Witch and I was instantly taken with the story and the design. It was a bit strange, but ultimately seemingly similar to my own path in life.

The Love Witch is an homage to 1960's horror films and has the overall effect of being filmed in the 60's despite the fact it was actually filmed in 2016. The whole setting, costumes and design are vintage 60's, and the movie was filmed on 35mm film to give it the 60's grain affect.

Written and directed by Anna Biller, The Love Witch takes up claims of feminine sexual power as it focuses on the charming, but ultimately desperate, witch Elaine Parks, played by Samantha Robinson. Elaine takes up power over men in the form of spells and potions to fulfill her ultimate desire to be loved and devoted to, but when her spells work too well the men she dates become boring, dependent and unacceptable to her, causing one lovesick man to commit suicide when she does not return his affection, and she in turn kills a man who does not return hers.

The Love Witch uses the figure of the witch as a metaphor for women in general, as both an embodiment of men's fears of women, and of women's own powers of intuition and as mothers and sorceresses. The film embraces the camp of 1960s horror, examining issues of love, desire, and narcissism through a feminist perspective, and it hits so home to a practicing witch with boy troubles.

Samantha Robinson's Elaine is a serial killer who thinks herself the star of a romantic comedy and is both empathetic, intelligent, and extremely deranged. However her understanding is wracked between the fairytale fantasy of gender roles and the actual reality of living them, mirroring the affect that many women are subjected to due to pop culture and societies standards. Elaine is attractive and charming, and she honestly wouldnt need to use sex magic and spells to get herself a devoted man, but her use of these objects keeps her realising the actual lessons here. She rages at the idea that men see her as nothing more than a sex object, while continuing to belittle herself to that level in order to attract a man. It's realistic, and heart-breakingly obvious.

The utilisation of sex magic in this film is also extremely realistic, using urine and tampons in spells, and masturbating in a holy way, and creates a hyper-sincere world of sex, true desire, and love. While not so horrifying in the kind of horror movie sense you get in Saw and Friday the 13th, The Love Witch uses these spookier elements to create a horror movie made of addiction and narcissism which hits the mark as a feminist drama rather than a horror movie, but in the end, at its core, The Love Witch cautions against the dangers of self-delusion. It allows the viewer to place responsibility for our anti-heroine’s narcissism where they like. Is she really a clueless and manipulative serial killer, or did the men in her life make her that way?

What do you guys think?

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