Halloween ’14: Practical Magic

Who doesn’t love Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman?

Oh sorry, maybe you don’t, but I do. And along with a theme of witches, my favorite Halloween ‘creature,’ Practical Magic is another on my list of ‘To Watch’ for the day of Halloween. The story isn’t far from the tropes associated with witching stories: focusing heavily on the female experience. It is based on of an Alice Hoffman novel.

Casting a spell

Bullock and Kidman play a pair of sisters, Sally and Gillian, respectively, that were raised by their aunts (portrayed by Stockard Channing and Dianne West). The older sister, Sally, is scared of her gifts and the curse of the family that no witch should ever fall in love and live happily ever after. She returns to her aunts’ home after her husband dies in a tragic accident, with her own two daughters. Gillian is not far behind them, running away from an abusive and deadly relationship. Magic and love are the only things that save the family from the danger of Gillian’s past, and, as in most Bullock movies, Sally finds love in the most obvious of places.

This film is classic 90’s to me, and a great supernatural drama. It is kept simple, and yet has a back story that is effecting, even if predictable. It is not the regular or expected horror or hack and slash most people like to enjoy on Halloween. I tried my best to give my list some breaks in the scary, so those of us with jumpy constitutions don’t have to sleep in absolute fear come bedtime. If you’re not down for some more lighthearted fair I first of all applaud your mental strength and then say, we can’t all be so brave. Feel free to skim this little review and wait for something more your speed.

However this film will dot my list so that I don’t actually need to have some comedy thrown into the mix of over-the-shoulder peeking terror.


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About the author

Jessa Searles

is a novice blogger, avid reader, and, now, a professional television viewer. She has written for years for her own enjoyment, and began blogging when she studied abroad in Wales. A third generation nerd, she's followed her father's path down the force but is a Trekkie, a bit removed, on her mother's side. Some of her first passions were Tolkien and Nancy Drew, but as she discovered television, addiction has set in. Now, she watches just about everything, and is here to keep you up to date on whatever TV news you want to know! She attempts to maintain a personal blog at, and a creative writing blog at Feel free to check 'em out and let her know what you think.

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