As I plan my trip to Salem this fall, I'm getting into the spirit of the trip and season by watching movies and reading up on the area. I saw this movie when it came out in theaters (I'm thinking around 1998 or 1999?) and I have watched it every year since.
I love that the story is built from a witch hanging gone wrong hundreds of years earlier (although they got the dates wrong – they said 200 years prior, which would have been okay but the people were dressed in pilgrim-type clothing, which would date that back to the 1690s when actual witch hunting was in fashion but I guess they took some creative license. . .)
I just wanted to say that this movie holds up over time – I love it more each time I see it. And I love the cast – Stockard Channing and Diane Wiest, specifically, as the eccentric witch aunts to Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, who find themselves in a heap of trouble, partially due to a family curse and partially due to poor life choices.
I'm pretty sure most people know the plot of this movie and I won't belabor this review by rehashing it but I do want to say that, in my opinion, the reason why this film is still relevant and not dated at all is because it's about people and not trends or clichés. It's also not an attempt to be egregiously scary (though it does have some creepy scenes) and any of the scary scenes are injected with some humor, particularly the scenes where they are drinking the tainted tequila (I love that scene). I also love that they made the witches' house beautiful and not the typical gloomy gray clichéd witch-type building you might expect. The beautiful white Victorian house sits atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. It's beautiful. Aidan Quinn as the detective is also pretty nice to look at too.
Anyway, this is a great movie to enjoy around Halloween but it's also appropriate year round.