Imbolc is nearly here. Whether you call it Imbolc, Imbolg, Lady Day or Candlemas, it’s a winter pagan festival that’s sort of like a bookmark, reminding us we’re still in the middle of the story that is winter, but that spring is coming soon. Of course the Groundhog Day folklore is the familiar context for most folks; I wrote about that for The Witches’ Voice, some years ago. After a nice January thaw, it’s grown cold here again in upstate NY, and light snow is falling. Perfect time to contemplate how to spend the rest of the winter and prepare for spring. Maybe I’ll spend some time poring over my seed and plant catalogs tomorrow! Good preparation for ritual, gathering imagery…
This week there’s been some interesting news in the world of witchy media. First up, there is going to be a reboot of the TV series Charmed. I know, it seems like the show only ended fairly recently (2006) after a very impressive eight seasons. But it’d be stupid for the CW network to fail to capitalize on the witchcraft craze permeating millennial culture in social media these days. Supposedly this reboot will have a “feminist” tone; and interestingly, two of the original actresses (Holly Marie Combs and Shannen Doherty) have already made some negative comments in news media about the planned revival. Personally, I’d like to see a reboot remain a bit more true to the original inspiration for Charmed, the film The Craft (1997), which is also getting a reboot (okay, a sequel). Both these projects will be set in the present day, so if you were hoping for some cool 1990s era gothwear, you may be disappointed. But for your weekly viewing parties, you can wear whatever you want!
In related news, the popular CW series Riverdale, based (rather loosely, I gotta say) on the original “Archie” comics, will be spinning off a series about “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” recently revived in comic book form for contemporary readers. However, the new series proposed for Netflix will be based on “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” from the Archie comics horror imprint (right??!? who knew?), and will have a very dark and subversive approach, maybe even a Satanic vibe (some stories name-drops Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist as inspirations for the show’s stylings). Given how beautifully Riverdale has reinvented the “Archie” franchise for the current era (more diverse, more sexually charged, and with a somewhat creepy Twin Peaks-esque quality), I am looking forward to seeing how the Sabrina series turns out.
There are two new films due out soon that are making my media witch heart (I do have one, you know) go pitter pat. First, The Ritual, a new film coming to Netflix (February 9th). It’s a sort of modern folk horror tale (based on a novel that is apparently very scary) that seems to nod to The Blair Witch Project and maybe winks a bit to The Witch, too (as well as Haxan, since it is set in the Swedish countryside). This preview piece from Refinery29 asks some interesting questions about the film’s gender dynamics and basis in witchy folklore.
The second one is new from the no-longer-fledgling studio, A24, that has been turning out all sorts of great films (most recently Ladybird and The Florida Project). They brought us The Witch, too (thank you!) and do seem to focus ever so slightly on indie horror and thrillers. In June they’re releasing Hereditary, a spooky looking family drama starring Toni Collette, already drawing comparisons to The Exorcist. The trailer is deliciously creepy and the film features elaborate dollhouse miniatures, which I am very excited about also.
Until the next round up of news on a Tuesday, darlings…be good and don’t forget to Bind Trump!