The Good Witch was a surprise hit for the Hallmark Channel in 2008. Starring Catherine Bell, the story revolves about the mysterious Cassandra Nightingale who takes residence in an old house reputed to be haunted. She then opens a shop called Bell, Book and Candle that furthers the impression that she dabbles in magic. In the process she befriends the family of the town police chief but has to fight a growing resistance that wants to drive her out of town. By the end she wins the affection of many and ends up falling in love with the police chief.
The Halloween season is often full of scary and these days gory horror movies. Sure, some of the early Harry Potter movies are mostly okay (later movies get more serious and deadly), but sometimes you want a movie that offers something a little different and perhaps has a unique charm about it. The Good Witch fills that bill. The character of Cassandra Nightingale, played excellently by Catherine Bell, is both mysterious and charming in this role leaving you wondering right up until the credits role whether she really is a witch or not.
Her shop, the Bell, Book, and Candle, is a play on a movie of the same name where the main female lead is a witch. And she sells items most New Agers shop for such as natural herbs and powders, essential oils, items from different cultures that have odd purposes (like the dream catcher she gives to the daughter of Chief Russell who is having bad dreams and seeing monsters in them). Yet she does nothing directly to show she is a witch. Chief Russell’s son Brandon wants to punish a bully by turning him into a frog, but Cassie gives him a long list of things he has to do first before his bully transforms (into a goat instead). It forces Brandon to seek out the home of Kyle where he sees he is mistreated by his father. They end up back in his home where, after playing some games and eating pizza, he tells his father what he saw. The outcome here is that Kyle is moved out of that home and that he and Brandon become friends. Oh, and the young girl’s nightmares are replaced by bunnies instead.
The magic here, it seems, is perception, foresight, and suggestion rather than casting spells. She does confront a dog and tells him to back off, which he does, showing she has something but what it might be is never wholly defined. And for a movie like this, delightful. Those looking for the traditional evil and cackling hag that is often associated with Halloween will not find it here. Instead, you get a charming movie with a good cast that entertains in a nice way without overdoing it. It also teaches one should not judge too quickly on appearances either. A good movie to watch with kids this Halloween season.