You might no longer be planning your baddie costume but you can still cling to the Halloween spirit for the first week of November. If for nothing else but to distract from the declining hours and increasingly depressive weather (and maybe that lingering Halloweekend hangover).
Here are 7 of our favourite iconic cult horrors which are as chic as they are entertaining. Just grab a few leftover sweets, sit back and take inspo from all of the devilish women in these darkly satiric masterpieces. They’re also all very camp.
The Love Witch (2016)
Could this be the most iconique witch of all time? Elaine Parks is a scorned but glamorous practicing member of the occult who loves painting and sipping tea part time – and ‘accidentally’ poisoning men full time. A few ‘males’ may fall in her search for a partner, but Anne Biller’s Love Witch loves love so much that this microscopic sacrifice is one she’s willing to make. Brewing up psychedelic potions in her gothic Victorian apartment, Elaine’s character reclaims the femme fatale figure, historically sexualised by men. The satiric dialogue and stilted acting is also used to poke fun at what men think women speak about and the female gaze is strikingly asserted through the cinematography.
Three archetypal popular girls, led by ‘Satan in heels’, come up with the sadistically brilliant idea to kidnap the school’s ‘teen dream’ and ‘jokingly’ gag her with a jawbreaker. After the sickly sweet birthday prank results in murder (or manslaughter, you choose), the group unravels. It’s worth watching for detective Pam Grier alone.
The Craft (1996)
Here’s how to do a schoolgirl costume without sexualising minors. Not only do the Catholic uniforms juxtapose with the occult aesthetics, but each modern witch’s storyline, and how they intertwine, will leave you spellbound. Far from the likes of the Charmed witches, this 90s teen coven begins to unravel after they find the fourth witch they’ve been chanting for. Drunk with power, their rituals grow from petty to perilous as their fellow schoolmates start to bear the brunt of their teen angst.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Finally! This Diablo Cody masterpiece is being celebrated for the feminist horror that it actually is. Initially marketed to teenage boys, Jennifer’s Body was a box office flop because it wasn’t actually just about how hot Megan Fox is. Sacrificed by a rock band, hot girl Jennifer becomes a demonic succubus, snacking on boys for nourishment until her best friend Needy desperately begins to intervene. There are layers of feminism embedded into the bitingly campy script – from ‘the abject’ (gore), female friendship, bisexuality, the rejection of the male gaze and the revenge plot. Every outfit also provides buckets of y2k inspo that has been replicated on TikTok in droves.
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Two toxic ex-friends think they’ve found a drug for immortality, only to find that everlasting beauty has a hefty price. This supernatural dark fantasy is an absurdly endearing story of female friendship that bonds the two women as their bodies cease to die, no matter what horrific accidents their beautiful bodies are put through.
We all love a bad boy, don’t we? But not a suicidal terrorist. When Veronica, a member of the popular ‘Heathers’ clique who is disillusioned with high school hierarchy, meets JD she thinks she’s found her equally disgruntled match – until he starts convincing her to kill the cool kids he doesn’t like.
The Witches (1990)
Anne Hathaway took a commendable stab at this role in the 2020 remake, but Angelica Huston is the reigning empress of Halloween. Instead of glamorous goth Morticia Adams, she assumes the grotesque form of The Grand Witch. Prepare to relive your childhood nightmares but also ensure that you remain aware of the anti semitism hidden in Road Dahl’s writing and characterisation.