The Witching of Ben Wagner

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1990
96 min

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Directed by:

Paul Annett

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[Contains spoilers] "George Wagner (Sam Bottoms) moves his wife and family, including son Ben (Justin Gocke), to a new town, where he begins a real estate job for Angelo Romano (Craig Clyde). Ben, a high school freshman, doesn't seem to get along with his busy, somewhat distant father. He finds consolation with a mysterious young girl, Regina (Bettina Rae), and her Grammy (Sylvia Sidney), who are both thought by the townspeople to be witches. Ben soon believes himself bewitched by Regina, a secret he shares with his sister, Liz (Jamie Ballard), and he becomes more confident, making the school's basketball team and earning better grades, while still searching for his father's approval. Ben's snotty teenage sister, Susan (Elizabeth Shumway), who's trying to stay friends with the stuck-up rich girl Ashley Addison (Amy Allred), blackmails Liz into learning about Regina, causing a near-fatal accident when Liz follows Ben to the lake and tumbles into a stream. She is saved by Ben, and as the family unites at the hospital, Susan confesses tearfully her abysmal behavior. Meanwhile, Romano's efforts to develop high-rise condos on the land near the lake are spearheaded by George. Grammy puts a curse on him, causing him bad luck. Finally learning from his son, who is upset at his father's plans for the lake, George scares the potential investors away from the deal with a false geology report. Romano fires George, who is promptly offered a job by Ashley's father (Scott McMillan). Grammy and the Wagners celebrate the good news, while Regina tells Ben that neither she nor Grammy are witches. They're just "different," and Ben's improved behavior has come from within himself."

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