The Love Witch has received strong praise for its successful execution of nostalgia for the late 1960s and early 1970s. Even while knowing all of this, I couldn’t imagine how successful this film would be at capturing the era. The costumes, camera angles and sets are all reminiscent of the counter-culture or Euro-horror films of the era like no other period piece. The team of director Anna Biller and cinematographer M. David Mullen have created a film that successfully captures the era in every way.
The main story of The Love Witch revolves around a witch using spells and magic to lure men in her pursuit of true love and always coming up with disastrous results. Samantha Robinson as the title character is the definition of beauty and her costumes and makeup are reminiscent of the most gorgeous women of the era.
While this film is categorized as horror, I think it’s best to go into this film thinking of it as a romantic drama feminist film with bits of the supernatural sprinkled throughout. If you’re going into this looking for straight forward horror, you’ll be disappointed. First and foremost it’s a love letter to the late 60s/early 70s and then a romantic drama.
Of course since it’s related to witches it’s a feminist film. The Love Witch does a great job at switching gender roles and portraying women and men in such a way that they’re rarely shown in horror. It’s the men in this film that become hysterical and overly emotional instead of a scream queen running away from a serial killer.
My only gripe with this film is the two hour running time when this type of film at the longest should be an hour and twenty minutes. At two hours there’s plenty of dead air best left in the deleted scenes section.
Overall, The Love Witch is worth viewing. Few nostalgic period pieces capture the era they’re paying tribute to as perfectly as The Love Witch does.
Side Note: I should mention that The Love Witch actually takes place in the current era and not the late 60s/early 70s. The only time you notice this is when modern cars make an appearance or at one point a character uses a cell phone.