Socialist Worker

Old superstitions and modern prejudices in Witch Hunt

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2761

Claire Meets secret witch Fiona in Witch Hunt

Claire Meets secret witch Fiona in Witch Hunt


What if witch trials happened in the 21st century, where magic was real? That’s the premise for Witch Hunt directed by Elle Callahan.

The film takes place in what seems to be the modern day US. But here, witches are hunted and executed for possessing magical powers.

This film centres around teenager Claire (Gideon Adlon) whose mother Martha (Elizabeth Mitchell) helps to smuggle witches across the Mexican border. In this society, children are taught to fear witches and to see them as criminals.

But when Claire meets a teenage witch, Fiona (Abigail Cowen), she starts to see things differently—and to discover her true identity as well.

Witch Hunt is entertaining and beautifully shot, but suffers slightly with too much symbolism and imagery that confuses the viewers.

There is also a horror element to the film, which seems completely unnecessary.

The film is at its strongest when it focuses on the relationships between the mostly women characters, fighting back against an unjust and brutal system. There are obvious parallels made between, the way witches are hunted and persecuted and how migrants in the US are treated.

Witch hunters that look very similar to border officers patrol the country. Their prisoners are detained in camps.

The film combines this modern take on a witch hunt with what witch hunters would do in the past, such as testing if women sank or floated in water.

And like in the past women are also burnt at the stake.

The combination of old and new horrific customs is, again, a strong aspect of the film.

Witch Hunt is a watchable and exciting film that would especially appeal to those who enjoy the genre.

Witch Hunt, on DVD and streaming platforms from Monday 5 July

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