The Best Witch Movies, from ‘Suspiria’ to ‘Hocus Pocus’ to ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’

From an evil queen pondering “Mirror, mirror on the wall: Who is the fairest of them all?” to Three Weird Sisters chanting “Double, double toil and trouble! Fire burn, and cauldron bubble,” witchcraft has been something of a skeleton key across centuries of storytelling on screen and in print.

As old as ghost stories themselves, witches are fabled beings — typically more human than creature, but sometimes vice versa — known for using magic to abuse and manipulate us mere mortals.Some witches feed on children; see Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” and its two film adaptations starring Anjelica Huston and Anne Hathaway respectively.

Some witches just want to be loved; consider the appropriately-named “The Love Witch” or the middle chunk of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Others crave beauty, youth, power, or something altogether more sinister; think the unending greed examined in Luca Guadagnino’s astounding re-imagining of Dario Argento’s “Suspiria.

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