The Love Witch Will Betwitch You With Cinematography

By Ashtyn Britt
abritt@lc.edu

There is a certain charm to older horror movies that cannot be denied. Directors in the 1960s and 1970s would have to be creative with their effects and pick very good actors in order to manifest the kind of reactions they wanted for their film. CGI did not exist yet, and often these movies would be given a shoestring budget for the setting and costumes. Recently though, I watched a far more recent film that made wonderful homages to these classic spooky tales, “The Love Witch”.

Everything about this 2016 film was designed in purpose to perfectly emulate a classic 1970s horror movie. The cheap wigs, the polyester costumes, even the extremely bold eye makeup was fabulously done. What especially caught my attention was the way they filmed the movie, purposely using a filter on the camera in order to make the movie seem much older than it really is.

The movie follows a young witch named Elaine who moves to California in order to find her true love, and the many men she disposes of along the way. What makes Elaine’s character interesting is the fact that while she acts like usual 1970s horror-movie women being lovestruck and desperate for male companionship, the women around her are quite different. There are a few discussions within the film about women empowerment and whether or not Elaine is wasting her talents away on men instead of embracing her own power. It also brings along the question if anyone could ever really love Elaine the way that she wants, or if she simply is stuck in a fantasy that cannot ever come true.

This movie was a phenomenal gem to find, and I highly appreciated it. For those interested, “The Love Witch” is available for free on Amazon Prime. However, this movie can have some very adult graphic scenes so make sure no children are around! Happy watching!

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