Practical Magic: 10 Similar Movies About Witchcraft You’ll Like

‘Practical Magic’ is a bewitching tale of two sisters Sally and Gillian Owens, who are raised by their aunts in a household filled with magic spells and enchantments. As they grow older, they discover the consequences of their family’s mystical abilities, particularly a curse that haunts the women of their lineage. The plot thickens when Sally’s boyfriend unexpectedly dies, prompting the sisters to confront their magical heritage to bring him back to life.

The 1998 classic, directed by Griffin Dunne, is adapted from author Alice Hoffman’s novel of the same name. Starring rising stars Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, the timeless favorite entertains viewers with elements of romance, sisterhood, and supernatural intrigue, all of which are masked under a comedy. For fans who appreciate movies that capture similar themes of witchcraft, sisterhood, and dark comedy, we recommend you watch these 10 movies like ‘Practical Magic.’

10. Matilda (1996)

An adaptation of the eponymous book from the legendary children’s literature writer Roald Dahl, ‘Matilda’ is directed by Danny DeVito, who also stars in it. The story follows Matilda, a young girl with extraordinary intelligence and telekinetic powers, who is neglected by her family and mistreated by her tyrannical school principal, Miss Trunchbull. It’s only after she discovers her abilities and uses them to stand up for herself and her kind teacher, Miss Honey, that Matilda discovers both her potential and true purpose.

DeVito’s classic combines elements of magic, growing up, and the triumph of good over evil, resonating with the themes in ‘Practical Magic,’ which also centers around female characters discovering and harnessing their supernatural abilities. ‘Matilda‘ also shares the whimsical tone and inspirational journey of self-discovery found in ‘Practical Magic’ in an equally charming and enchanting story.

9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Before Joss Whedon utilized this concept in the popular television series, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ this film introduced audiences to Buffy Summers, a high school cheerleader who learns she is the latest in a line of vampire slayers. Buffy, guided by her watcher, Merrick, must embrace her destiny to combat vampires and other supernatural threats. Starring Kristy Swanson in the role later made iconic by Sarah Michele Geller, this version blends humor, horror, and action, capturing the essence of mid-90s magic and fantasy.

With ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ becoming a cornerstone of this era, ‘Practical Magic,’ too, joined in the rich line-up with its very own strong female leads navigating their supernatural powers and the chaos that accompanies them. Like the latter film, the now-forgotten 1992 fantasy features akin rules for witches, along with the bloodthirsty vampires.

8. The Worst Witch (1986)

First of the many adaptations of Jill Murphy’s children’s book series, ‘The Worst Witch’ follows Mildred Hubble, a clumsy but well-meaning student at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. Struggling with her magical studies, Mildred frequently finds herself in trouble, much to the displeasure of her teacher, Miss Hardbroom. Despite her mishaps, Mildred’s determination and kind heart motivate her to overcome the challenges of witch school. Both ‘The Worst Witch’ and ‘Practical Magic’ shed light on strict rules of magic through their central characters who struggle with their magical abilities. Mildred’s attempts to fit in at the academy parallel the Owens sisters’ struggles with the pressures of their family’s heritage.

7. The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Directed by Mark Waters of ‘Mean Girls,’ this children’s film is based on the book series of the same name by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. The plot centers on the Grace family — twins Jared and Simon, their sister Mallory, and their mother — who move into the mysterious Spiderwick Estate. They soon discover a hidden world of fairies, goblins, and more magical creatures after finding Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide. Both ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ and ‘Practical Magic’ are fantasy adventures rooted in family bonds, magical heritage, and the hidden dangers that come with supernatural knowledge. In both films, young protagonists uncover and embrace their magical surroundings, facing fantastical threats with the help of their siblings.

6. Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (2009)

A feature-length installment in Todd J. Greenwald’s ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ series, this Selena Gomez-starrer follows a fresh adventure of the Russo family, who are secret wizards living in New York City. Directed by Lev L. Spiro, the plot centers around Alex Russo (Gomez), who accidentally wishes her parents had never met, leading to a series of magical events that put her family at risk. To reverse the wish, Alex and her brothers, Justin and Max, must embark on a journey to find the Stone of Dreams.

The Disney Channel film captures the essence of relationships between siblings and the challenges of growing up with magical abilities, much like ‘Practical Magic.’ Both comedies explore themes of familial bonds and the drastic consequences of wielding magic. In ‘Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie,’ the Russo siblings must work together and rely on their magical skills to solve their problems, paralleling the sisterly bond and magical struggles faced by the Owens sisters in ‘Practical Magic.’

5. The Crucible (1996)

Playwright and screenwriter Arthur Miller adapted his acclaimed play, ‘The Crucible’ for this Nicholas Hytner directorial. Set in 1692 during the historical Salem witch trials, the movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor, a farmer who becomes entangled in mass paranoia when a group of young girls in his village are caught practicing the taboo art of love spells. The accused group, led by Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder), who conjured to kill John’s wife, causes the trial to spiral out of control, throwing accusations on the community and leading to devastating consequences.

Though ‘The Crucible,’ unlike its characters, does not participate in real magic, its story nevertheless owes its best parts to the real-world beliefs surrounding witchcraft and its history in an admirably accurate manner. The drama also relies on fear of the unknown, power, and integrity under pressure, much like the thematic explorations in ‘Practical Magic.’ While ‘The Crucible’ is grounded in historical events and offers a serious, stark look at the dangers of mass hysteria and false accusations, its handling of the societal impacts of witchcraft and the lengths superstitious individuals are willing to go to for personal gains, including love, is as visible as it’s in the Kidman and Bullock-starrer.

4. The Craft (1996)

Director Andrew Fleming’s cult dark fantasy revolves around a group of high school girls who form a council of witches and harness supernatural powers. The plot follows Sarah Bailey, a newcomer with a troubled past, who joins forces with three other outcasts to explore witchcraft, but their newfound abilities soon begin to deviate beyond their imaginations. An integral part of the late 90s’ attempts to pull the teen genre into a darker category — along with ‘Scream’ and ‘Cruel Intentions’ — ‘The Craft’ is a disturbing commentary on power, revenge, and the consequences of dabbling in the dark arts.

On the contrary, much like the most apparent themes in ‘Practical Magic,’ the dynamics of female friendship and the perils of magic in Fleming’s more serious craft still manage to shine amidst all the higher stakes. However, ‘The Craft’ is nevertheless better known for its blend of teenage angst with the glorification of witchcraft, and thus, serves as a much-needed grittier counterpart to the romantic and whimsical tone of the Alice Hoffman adaptation.

3. Ella Enchanted (2004)

An underrated stepping stone in Anne Hathaway’s rise to stardom, this old-school chick flick features her portraying the teenager Ella of Frell. Cursed at birth by a misguided fairy, Lucinda, with the gift of obedience, Ella embarks on a journey to Lucinda to regain her free will. Along the way, she encounters Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy) and discovers a plot that threatens the kingdom. Directed by Tommy O’Haver, the screenplay is adapted from Gail Carson Levine’s eponymous novel, a retelling of ‘Cinderella.’

Similar to ‘Practical Magic,’ ‘Ella Enchanted’ uses a family-friendly approach to subtly highlight the significance of personal growth, empowerment, and independence. Both films feature inexperienced yet determined protagonists navigating their magical abilities and the difficulties they face because of them. Though ‘Ella Enchanted’ adds a whimsical twist with its fairy tale setting and humorous take on classic tropes, the two films’ emphasis on breaking free from magical constraints and forging one’s path resonates with their viewers in an identical fashion.

2. Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996)

Fourth entry from 1996, this Archie Comics adaptation of the eponymous series from writer-illustrator duo George Gladir and Dan DeCarlo tells the story of Sabrina Sawyer. Before she would headline the popular ABC show of the same name, Melissa Joan Hart portrayed the teenage girl who discovered she had magical powers on her sixteenth birthday for this Showtime TV movie. After she moves into the town of Riverdale, Sabrina learns to control her abilities under the guidance of her two aunts. Ryan Reynolds appears in this version as Seth, a crush of Sabrina who serves as a catalyst in her decision to cross a very crucial line.

Directed by Tibor Takács, the lighthearted comedy blends supernatural elements as Sabrina navigates her new abilities while dealing with typical teenage problems. The sitcom-like humor and focus on a young witch learning to control her powers echo the coming-of-age and self-discovery themes in ‘Practical Magic.’ Both movies feature female leads misusing the magical powers they inherited from their family. The charm and whimsy of Sabrina’s adventures resonate well with the romantic and fantastical themes of ‘Practical Magic.’

1. Death Becomes Her (1992)

Director Robert Zemeckis’ black comedy follows two women who drink a potion that grants them eternal youth, leading to unintended and humorous consequences. Chronicling decades, the on-screen rivalry between Meryl Streep’s Madeline Ashton and Goldie Hawn’s Helen Sharp — who both seek to maintain their beauty and outdo each other — leads them to a battle that has no exceptions, be it marrying plastic surgeon Ernest Menvill (Bruce Willis) or drinking a magic potion.

While ‘Death Becomes Her’ is more satirical and focuses on vanity and rivalry, it mirrors the Nicole Kidman-Sandra Bullock movie in its depiction of a female-dominated cast and the use of magic to alter fates. The supernatural elements and dark comedic tone found in ‘Practical Magic’ are further matched in Zemeckis’ cautionary tale with both films exploring the consequences of tampering with the natural order through magical means.

Read More: Practical Magic: Is the Owens Sister House a Real House?