Taking a new look at Teen Witch.

by Ruby Yang

Teen movies about high school are usually over the top, and, well, almost nothing like real life. Teen Witch is no different. With all the makings of a teen movie—Nerdy girl? Check. Popular boy who happens to be the nerd’s crush? Check. Snobby popular girlfriend? Check.—Teen Witch puts a twist on the genre by having the main character, Louise Miller, be a witch. As you can expect, Louise uses her newfound power to become the most popular girl in school in hopes of winning over her crush, Brad Powell’s affections… only to have second thoughts about using her powers. When I had first seen this movie over a decade ago as a kid, I had absolutely loved it.

From its catchy ‘80s pop music to the (now outdated) fashions, what was there not to love about it? The cliché story about a plain Jane girl becoming popular—and that she was a witch!— was just the icing on the cake. Granted, as a kid I was easily entertained and didn’t think much about things.

Teen Witch
Directed by
Dorian Walker
Cast
Robyn Lively, Dan Gauthier, Joshua John Miller
Release Date
28 April 1989
Ruby’s Grade: C+


Now, being over a decade later, I had only a vague recollection of the movie and only just remembered that I liked it. And so, seeing that it was recently released on Netflix, I was ecstatic to rewatch the film. The plot, as expected from the title, is predictable and full of clichés. But seeing as this is a teen movie, the general fluff is to be expected. However, upon rewatching the film, I noticed that the movie lacks development. That is, while the movie attempts to teach a moral lesson about being yourself, the film doesn’t really show it. Instead, the movie ends with a stereotypical happy ending, ignoring the fact that there are a whole bunch of plot holes—Aren’t they still enchanted? If Louise really did learn her lesson, why didn’t she apologize? Did she even learn anything at all? Adding an extra scene in which Louise returns to her former plain Jane self but with more confidence, and thus more friends would have easily resolved these issues. Alas, the movie abruptly ends without any real resolution.

Overall, the film is your typical cheesy, teen rom-com. But because of its music and over-the-top dance scenes, this movie has become a cult classic—a belief in which I agree with. There’s just something about this that separates this movie from other long-forgotten teen movies. Whether it’s the music (I still have that Shana song stuck in my head…) or the slightly cringe-worthy dance scenes, there was a reason that this movie was ingrained in my mind even after all these years. It may not be the best, and certainly has a lot of flaws, but faults aside, it sure is a delightful and fun movie to watch. So if you’re a big fan of the ‘80s or are just in the mood for a pleasant movie to watch, I would definitely recommend giving Teen Witch a try.