‘The Love Witch’ is a horror film which plays on the camp nature of older films from this genre. It is about a witch, Elaine, who uses magic to enchant men and get them to fall in love with her. Although, love never was simple and that is very true of the narrative here. Full of sex, violence and metaphor could ‘The Love Witch’ cast it’s spell over audiences?
This film is like a psychedelic trip gone seriously wrong. The themes in the film of love, sex & feminism are thrown together amongst an array of over stylized scenes with a heavy sixties vibe. The writing is never clear enough to convey a coherent message. Trying to make sense of this film was like trying to discover a formula for love itself. I found myself asking constant questions about what I was watching. Was witchcraft a metaphor for feminism? Was the title character meant to represent a role reversal between men and women? Futhermore there were constant views of love being thrown around making it even harder to distinguish what the filmmakers were trying to get at. As well as this different characters seemed to be vessels for varying opinions or attitudes. Usually a film that provokes so much discussion would be much to my liking but when it’s almost impossible to understand what statements are being made it’s hard to invest in what you’re watching.
I don’t mind films with messages or meaning behind them, I usually really enjoy them. However, if these messages aren’t going to be really clear for audiences I feel that at least the narrative needs to be engaging. Offering audiences something to be entertained by at the time, allowing the discussion and investigation into themes to be carried out afterwards. Unfortunately, ‘The Love Witch’ offers no such thing with a narrative which will alienate most mainstream audiences. The story is so slowly paced and it’s never given enough attention. It’s weird as anything, and will have you muttering ‘what the hell!?’, or quite possibly something more explicit, under your breath on several occasions. So as a result the film makes little sense and becomes incredibly boring despite it’s bizarre nature. You’ll be wanting the film to end ages before it does so. The over exaggerated performances, obviously intended, do little to help this, preventing audiences from really being able to engage with any character.
When combined, the headache inducing themes of the writing and the completely bonkers narrative make for a wholly inaccessible movie. Maybe I’m just not intellectual enough to understand what is going on here but I found absolutely nothing to enjoy or interact with. ‘The Love Witch’ can be praised for it’s talent at mimicking such a groovy decade but it will take much more to enchant many of todays movie fans, myself included.
Rating – 2/10
Question: Are there any examples of movies that you just didn’t understand?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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