The Love Witch (2016)

  • Director: Anna Billerthelovewitch
  • Writer: Anna Biller
  • Main Cast: Samantha Robinson, Laura Waddell, Gian Keys

‘What you call love is a borderline personality disorder

Elaine has no problem getting men to want her, but she is obsessed with making them love her. As she weaves her spell – literally and figuratively – on the men she meets, she never seems to quite find what she wants…which means disaster for the men who let her down.

This tribute to 1960s exploitative horror is lush and gorgeous – a treat for the senses, even if the plot is relatively thin. I love folk horror, so I enjoyed the ritualistic elements, but the film drags a little in places. It could have easily been a bit shorter without impacting the story, but that may very well have impacted Biller’s artistic vision – which is really what this film is all about. It’s not so much a coherent or extensive narrative, more a piece of cinematic art.

Samantha Robinson’s Elaine is hyponotising, scary and embarrassing in equal measure. There are a number of scenes that are really uncomfortable and awkward to watch. This is certainly the intention, but it’s just not the kind of tension I personally enjoy.

This is an unusual and unsettling film, definitely one to watch, and I certainly liked it – I just didn’t love it.

View the trailer here (contains spoilers)

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