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The Love Witch (2016)

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A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her.

Director:

Anna Biller

Writer:

Anna Biller
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Popularity
4,482 ( 259)
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samantha Robinson ... Elaine
Gian Keys Gian Keys ... Griff
Laura Waddell ... Trish
Jeffrey Vincent Parise ... Wayne
Jared Sanford Jared Sanford ... Gahan
Robert Seeley ... Richard
Jennifer Ingrum ... Barbara
Randy Evans ... Steve
Clive Ashborn ... Professor King
Lily Holleman ... Miss Curtis
Jennifer Couch Jennifer Couch ... Wendy
Stephen Wozniak ... Jerry
Giselle DaMier ... Harpist
April Showers ... April Showers
Elle Evans ... Star
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Storyline

Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1970s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She Loved Men... To Death.

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Feiticeira do Amor See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$160,747, 3 January 2016

Gross USA:

$228,894, 7 April 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Anna Biller Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Much of the set decorations and costumes were hand made by the director. See more »

Goofs

When the Police pulled Elaine over in her car. He said her tail lights were out. The only way he could have known her tail lights were out was if she had her headlights on, which she didn't because it was the daytime. See more »

Quotes

Elaine: According to the experts, men are very fragile. They can get crushed down if you assert yourself in any way.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frightfest 2016: In Conversation With (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Vita sospesa
Wrtten by Ennio Morricone
From Il Diavolo Nel Cervello (1973)
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User Reviews

 
A Darn Fine Vision That Runs Much Too Long
17 July 2016 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

A modern-day witch (Samantha Robinson) uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her, in a tribute to 1960s pulp novels and Technicolor melodramas.

Making its Canadian premiere at Fantasia on July 16, "The Love Witch" swooped in to Montreal with high recommendations. Hollywood Reporter has lauded it, as have the New Yorker, Rue Morgue, Chris Alexander for ShockTilYouDrop and Jason Coffman for Film Monthly. With everyone who is anyone in the world of film criticism coming out behind it, who could dare disagree?

Writer-director Anna Biller knew exactly what she was doing when she attempted to make this a throwback to the classic sexploitation films. Shot on glorious 35mm, the colors are vivid and absolutely striking, both in the film's overall look, and in the costuming and makeup. The set design even captures what I picture the West Coast in the 1960s must have been, a world of witchcraft where Anton LaVey would have felt at home. (Some critics have grumbled about the blend of 1960s and modern vehicles and cell phones; I can appreciate their desire for purity, but that was never really the point.)

Although the art direction and cinematography are what capture the look, the acting completes that illusion. The acting is terrible, but in the most wonderful way. Presumably, the actors were forced to watch an endless loop of trailers for films from Something Weird Video until they mastered the stilted language and mannerisms. Although Samantha Robinson is obvious the star and carries every sequence, Jeffrey Vincent Parise (GENERAL HOSPITAL) as Wayne was really the high-water mark for over-the-top melodrama. All of the characters had something a little off about them to make them endearing. And I love that the lead detective in the film is named Griff. I'd like to see this as a nod to the films of Sam Fuller, though it's probably just a coincidence.

Not to sound like a carbon copy, but just as much as I agree with the film's praise, I also follow in line with some of the negative observations. Frank Scheck of Hollywood Reporter says the film "might have benefited from some trimming, with several segments depicting wiccan rituals going on a bit too long." Where I differ is that I would go much further on this point, as Biller's editing is the real downfall of the film. Presumably, after all the hard work of writing, directing and decorating, Biller (now wearing the editor hat) didn't have the heart to trim her hard work. And this is a real shame, because after the first quarter to a third of the movie, the pace feels increasingly slow and the film as a whole comes off as awfully long. A half dozen sequences could have been cut entirely, or alternately a solid 20 minutes could have been removed to pick up the pace. A film this brilliant and visually sumptuous should not be risking putting its audience to sleep, but that's precisely what ends up happening.

And that's the long and short of it. Whether this film actually has a feminist message or is a film for women as Biller claims, I couldn't say. But it is unique, and a ridiculously successful throwback to the exploitation films that genre fans (myself included) are passionate about. When the film opens to a wider audience this fall, I expect it will hit home with a wide variety of viewers and may achieve minor cult status. However, if Biller (or someone else) trims a few minutes here and there between now and October, this could go well beyond cult and be a mainstream hit.


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