Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Witch Files

Go To

The Witch Files is a 2018 horror/thriller directed by Kyle Rankin.

A coven of young women with incredible powers and difficult pasts discovers that they are able to make their every wish come true. However, things take a dangerous turn when they discover that their newly-found abilities come with a price and that they may not be as in control as they think.


  • Alpha Bitch: Brooke is a rare protagonist example. She is at the top of the food chain at Brunswick High, and specializes in putting down those beneath her.
  • Army of the Ages: A small scale example occurs when Claire and MJ summon the spirits of everyone Jules has killed to attack her. While not quite an army, she has killed four people every seventeen years for more than 300 years, so there is a good number of spirits bearing her a healthy grudge. The spirits manifest dressed in the style of the era when they were killed, so presumably they are wearing what they were wearing when they died.
  • Advertisement:
  • Beta Bitch: Alpha Bitch Brooke's best friend Tiffany serves this role. She doesn't play a major role in the plot, but does serve as a Spanner in the Works when she is crowned Spring Queen instead of Jules.
  • Camera Fiend: Claire always carries a video camera with her and films almost everything, claiming that the camera helps her keep an emotional distance from events. It is her footage that makes up the majority of the movie.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts: The casting of spells causes recording devices to glitch slightly.
  • Flying Broomstick: Witches fly by using magic to levitate themselves. However, this is inherently unstable, as MJ discovers when she crashes to the ground. Jules discovers that holding a staff between your legs provides stability, and speculates that this is why witches were depicted riding broomsticks. The entire broom is not necessary, and at the end of the film, MJ and Claire chase after Jules riding a mop handle that MJ took the mop head off.
  • Advertisement:
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: Jules is the goth girl who introduces the other girls to magic, and induces them to form a coven. She claims the women in her family have a history of spell casting stretching back to pre-Revolutionary times.
  • Hot for Student: As a result of the coven casting a spell on Mr. Dwyer so Brooke can do no wrong in his eyes, he falls in love with her and propositions her, then resigns in horror at what he has done.
  • Human Sacrifice: After the coven spoils Jules' attempt to become immortal by being crowned, she announces that she can achieve the same end through human sacrifice, and abducts Jason to be her victim. Claire and MJ chase after her to stop her.
  • Invisibility: Claire uses a spell to turn invisible when confronting Brooke. Unfortunately, she neglects to turn the video camera she is carrying invisible.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Claire's dad is trying to fix her camera tripod, and delivers a monologue about how much he hates his job and wondering where his life went wrong. He finishes with the tripod and hands it to Claire, who glances at the camera and ask "Dad, did you know the camera's still recording?".
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Not explicitly stated, but when Claire and MJ summon the spirits of everyone Jules has wronged to attack, they are all dressed appropriately for the era in which they died, so it seems likely that they're manifesting wearing what they were wearing at their time of death.
  • Life Drinker: Jules is a 300 year old witch who returns to Brunswick every 17 years and forms a coven and drains the life force from the other members to maintain her youth and vitality for another 17 years.
  • Look Both Ways: Sarah is explaining what is happening to Claire and Brooke by way of holding up notes when she steps out of the alley and on to the street backwards and promptly got hit by a van.
  • Playing with Fire: Jules develops the power to throw fireballs from her hands.
  • Power at a Price: The coven discover that casting spells — especially for selfish purposes — comes at a cost: Claire starts going blind; Brooke goes deaf; MJ's jaw decays and her teeth fall out; Greta gets early onset arthritis; and Jules goes into early menopause.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Jules is really more than 300 years old, and has been returning to Brunswick every 17 years to renew her immortality.
  • Rear Window Witness: Claire is talking to Jules via webcam when she witness the black smoke enter Jules' room and attacks her.
  • School Newspaper Newshound: Claire, whose ambition is to be a TV journalist and eventually a national news anchor. It is her filming a story about detention that kicks off the plot.
  • Shock and Awe: One of the magical powers Brooke develops is the ability to shoot lightning from her fingertips, which she uses in her fight with Claire.
  • Sizeshifter: During her fight with Brooke, Claire uses magic to temporarily become a giant.
  • Something We Forgot: The coven are at Brooke's house making their first attempts at casting spells. They have just levitated Claire when Brooke's mom walks in. They try and act naturally and she soon leaves. Only then do they remember about Claire, who suddenly drops from the ceiling to the floor.
  • The Speechless, Crazy Sarah, the homeless woman, is mute: capable of making only inarticulate grunts. She communicates by writing notes on a pad. It is later revealed that having her voice taken away was the price she paid for using magic.
  • Talking with Signs: Crazy Sarah, having lost her voice due to magic, communicates by writing notes on pieces of paper and holding them up.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Jules gives MJ a green smoothie laced with ergot. MJ, having been forewarned, tosses it in the bin as soon as she is out of sight.
  • Tempting Fate: While flying to Hag's Rock on a broomstick, MJ says "I've got this", immediately before losing control and crashing.
  • Themed Aliases: When Claire learns from Detective Strauss that the pattern has been repeating every 17 years, she looks at the school records and realizes that Jules is responsible and has been using the names of the women who died in the original Brunswick witchcraft incident as aliases.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: