BY KAILEY TEDESCO
*Please note that there are some scene descriptions here, which may constitute a spoiler for some.
I found out about The Love Witch nearly a year ago. It all started with a still of Elaine Parks’ heavily shadowed eyelids and a tea dress with ruffles too glorious for words. The still became a fascination which led me to interviews with the film’s feminist auteur, Anna Biller, which eventually led me to a trailer, then back to some interviews, and so on for about nine months. It took until just yesterday for the movie to come to one of my city’s indie theaters. Usually, and in my personal experiences, a build-up of anticipation that long often results in disappointment. I remember thinking several times that this 1960’s B-Horror pastiche could not possibly live up to the hype which I, myself, have ascribed to it.
Well, dear readers, let me tell you it was worth every moment of the wait.
The film follows Elaine Parks (Samantha Robinson), a newly inducted yet gifted, member of a Wiccan coven who is quixotically obsessed (or, in her own words, “addicted) to love. After suffering years of gaslighting and emotional abuse in a previous marriage, Elaine is quickly scouted by a coven while dancing in a burlesque nightclub. From there, she quickly learns to transmogrify “sex magic” into “love magic,” but ultimately leaves each of her dalliances for dead.