The charm of Practical Magic is peppered with an unsettling effect, as can be found in several quotes throughout the film.
Practical Magic might have that old ’90s feel, complete with special effects that make many a modern-day viewer cringe, but that doesn’t mean it can’t accomplish some substantial spookiness. Sometimes old special effects are the best ones, bringing an aspect of the bizarre to a film that you just don’t see these days. This is only one of the reasons that this 1998 classic is a go-to if a person is looking to feel spooked.
The film overall rounds out into a piece of family feel-good content, but in the midst of the family drama a lot goes wrong–it is a family of witches, after all. From the first scene of the movie when the ancestor of the family sets a curse that no man shall ever love an Owens witch and live to tell the tale, the charm of the story is peppered with an unsettling effect, as can be found in several quotes throughout.
10 She Heard The Beetle Ticking For Your Father’s Death All Day Long
The Ants relate the story of how Gillian and Sally’s father died, and in turn, their mother.
The eerie ticking of the beetle signifies the oncoming death of the man who loves an Owen’s woman and is loved by her in return, as a result of the curse placed on all Owens women by their ancestor Maria, causing all witches in her line to bear the consequences.
9 You Brought Him Into My Life And Now I Want You To Bring Him Back
Sally’s husband dies, and she realizes that the love she shared with him was all along caused by a spell that the Ants put on her in order to get her out into the world and to stop dwelling on her sister Gillian being gone on her own adventures.
The realization that her destiny was warped by these women, and that she would have him returned to her no matter what form, asserts the strange morals at play in their lives.
8 Someone Left It On The Porch
After a fun midnight party of drinking margaritas together, the women discover that the bottle they were drinking from was, in fact, a bottle that the deceased Jimmy must have left on the porch–a strange occurrence, considering he is dead and buried at this point, and so the only way he could have done this is if he has risen from the dead.
7 You Killed His Spirit, But I Took His Life
Sally and Officer Hallet have just faced off with the remains of Jimmy Angelov, who rose from the dead and possessed Gillian.
Officer Hallet, completely confused and in shock about the situation, thinks that he has just killed Jimmy, and asks Ally to explain–but Sally reveals the dark truth of the matter, that Jimmy is in fact somewhere between the spirit and living world.
6 Not While He’s Out There. The Man By The Roses
In a particularly creepy part of the movie, Sally’s daughter Kylie (played by a young Evan Rachel Wood, as fans might easily forget) stands staring out of the window, transfixed by the vague shape of a man outside.
When she is asked to go outside and begin setting up for their outdoor breakfast, she blandly states that she won’t go until the man is gone–the man who is clearly Jimmy Angelov, haunting the property.
5 The Spell Became A Curse
The Ants explain the story of their ancestor Maria, and how she led to the Ownes women having a strange curse on their love lives that leads to any man they love dying.
The story emphasizes the fickle nature of magic, and how it’s never exactly reliable–as seen by the fact that the spell Maria put on herself when she was rejected by a man, intended to protect her from being heartbroken, warped itself into a curse due to her bitter pain.
4 Blood On The Moon
The Owens women have a habit of checking the moon for signs of what is to come, and in this case, Gillian and Sally are just about to escape the abusive, controlling custody of Jimmy when Gillian looks up and sees the red tinge of the moon–a sign of bad things to come.
3 He Wouldn’t Come Back As Him. He’d Come Back As Something Dark, Unnatural
Sally demands that the Ants bring back her husband.
They refuse because the spell that would bring him back wouldn’t bring him back in his original form, but as some changed being more liken to a Frankenstein creature–as later seen in the case of Jimmy Angelov.
2 Sometimes We Stay Up All Night Worshipping Each Other, Like Bats
Gillian’s relationships are spooky in themselves–basically, everything Gillian does has a dark edge to it, really.
In particular, Gillian’s description of her relationship with Jimmy Angelov is troubling. She describes their dynamic to Sally in a way that implies there is something wrong or not entirely healthy between them, making out Jimmy to be more creature than human and more controller than lover.
1 He’s Strong, So Much Stronger Than Me. He Can Survive The Curse
Gillian is trying to tell Sally that Jimmy is the right guy for her because he’s strong, meaning that maybe he can defy the curse set on the Owens women.
However, in explaining this to Sally she also touches on the fact that Jimmy is stronger than her–something that isn’t relevant to the curse, necessarily, and which gives away that they were a dysfunctional couple, hinting at the fact that she has less power than he does.
NEXT: Practical Magic: 10 Best Quotes, Ranked
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