Season of the Witch (AKA Hungry Wives) (1972)

Reminiscent of 1975’s “The Stepford Wives” in its impressively progressive feminist perspective (which is made particularly noticeable by the fact that both movies were made by men), George A. Romero’s “Season of the Witch” is one of those quietly effective little chillers that slowly unravels on the way to an inevitable but resonant conclusion. Jan White plays a bored, neglected suburban housewife who develops an acute interest in witchcraft in order to take back control of her life, with predictably messy consequences. White is excellent in the role, digging through the surface resentments that initially define her character to get to the barely concealed pain underneath, and it’s clear she has respect for her character’s journey because an inner steeliness gradually manifests itself until it redefines her characterization with an indignant, confrontational energy. Like many horror movies from the 1970s, it’s a slow-burner the same way that many television movies are, and while that may not satisfy casual horror fans, those looking for something serious and memorable should give this one a chance.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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