Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Click here for a Sydney Film Festival sneak peek with Festival Director Nashen Moodley!x
review, The Witches, The, Witches, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Anne Hathaway, Jahzir Bruno, Codie-Lei Eastick, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock, Philippe Spall, Charles Edwards, Simon Manyonda, Jonathan Livingstone, Robert Zemeckis, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Remake film rating

THE WITCHES

★★

HORRIFYING FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Chris dos Santos
31st October 2020

I must have spoken too soon in my piece about 1990 film 'The Witches': I stated that so far, there hadn't been a bad adaption of one of Roald Dahl's books, simply mediocre ones (with the worst one we've had being 2016's 'The BFG'). Well, here we are - 'The Witches' are back, this time directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Guillermo del Toro and produced by Alfonso Cuarón - and we have a new last place for Dahl's adaptions.

After the death of his parents, a boy (young: Jahzir Kadeem Bruno, old: Chris Rock) moves in with his grandmother (Octavia Spencer, 'Hidden Figures', 'The Shape Of Water'). After some time together, mysterious women start to appear in the town. He confronts his grandmother, and she reveals that witches are real! Desperate to escape town, they travel to a seaside hotel, but little do they know The Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway, 'Interstellar', 'Les Misérables', 'Ocean's 8') is having a meeting with witches to share with them her plan to turn kids into mice.

'THE WITCHES' TRAILER

Straight out the gate, the film lacks any of the horror elements present in both the book and the 90s film. It's way too colourful and CGI-filled to create any kind of fear for children. Weirdly enough, this film currently has an M rating in Australia, above the 90s PG rating which is much scarier.

As for Hathaway as The Grand High Witch, she isn't scary - but that's not to say she isn't having a fun time. She's giving it her all with the goofy accent, but that messes with the tone. The film wants to be a kids' horror, but with PC parents it has to be packaged in a colourful, safe way - it's desensitising and adds to the film's weakness. Her appearance in full witch mode is simply bald and claw hands, with very little horror in her look. Also, strangely, in scenes with big groups of witches, some of them are very clearly men in dresses, and it's just weird.

The only horrifying thing about the 2020 'Witches' is the god-damn terrible CGI. The kids turning into mice is so awful. It's possible that, since the film's release was originally pushed backed to next year but then rushed to HBO Max, they had to quickly do the CGI - because it's not good. Similar to Josh Gad's jaw in 'Artemis Fowl', we get Hathaway's nose being enlarged; it's the most nightmare-fuelling thing here.

Straight out the gate, the film lacks any of the horror elements present in both the book and the 90s film. It's way too colourful and CGI-filled to create any kind of fear for children.

As for sticking to the book's original ending - which includes the children remaining as mice - here the script misses the original meaning. It just feels like sequel bait, and without spoiling to much it's a strange message they were trying to send to kids here.

Kristin Chenoweth voices a mouse who was turned from a child four months prior... she is a talented 52-year-old woman, but a young child she is not. The same goes for Spencer here playing a grandmother, made to be quite old - and they hint that she is at the end of her life, even though Spencer is only 50 years old.

When you hear the names Robert Zemeckis, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron, you expect something visually engaging. These three names paired with Dahl's work could have been something really special, but this is just another bland adaption. The more you compare it to both the source material and previous adaptions, it comes across as bland and missing the mark. The same could be said about the star-studded cast led by Hathaway and Octavia Spencer, with Stanley Tucci playing the forgettable hotel owner. This team really could have made something unique, but this is not it, witch.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 10/12/2020
RUN TIME: 1h 44m
CAST: Anne Hathaway
Jahzir Bruno
Codie-Lei Eastick
Octavia Spencer
Stanley Tucci
Chris Rock
Philippe Spall
Charles Edwards
Simon Manyonda
Jonathan Livingstone
DIRECTOR: Robert Zemeckis
PRODUCERS: Jack Rapke
Alfonso Cuarón
Guillermo Del Toro
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Cranston Academy: Monster Zone - A fun-filled animated adventure for the whole family
TRENDINGWIN CRANSTON ACADEMY: MONSTER ZONEA fun-filled animated adventure for the whole family
Buckley's Chance - Take a chance on this Aussie fish-out-of-water story
TRENDINGWIN BUCKLEY'S CHANCETake a chance on this Aussie fish-out-of-water story
From the Vine - Finding your roots in your family
TRENDINGWIN FROM THE VINEFinding your roots in your family
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Green Lantern: 10th Anniversary - Failed Superheroes who got a second shot
TRENDINGGREEN LANTERN: 10TH ANNIVERSARYFailed Superheroes who got a second shot
King Otto - The world plans, and the Greek gods laugh
TRENDINGKING OTTOThe world plans, and the Greek gods laugh
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Complete Series - Sketches at a revolution
TRENDINGMONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS: THE COMPLETE SERIESSketches at a revolution
Amazing Grace - An extraordinary document on the power of music
TRENDINGAMAZING GRACEAn extraordinary document on the power of music
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
Breaking Bread - Why not <i>not</i> eat pigs together
TRENDINGBREAKING BREADWhy not not eat pigs together
In The Heights - A dazzling screen adaptation of the modern musical classic
TRENDINGIN THE HEIGHTSA dazzling screen adaptation of the modern musical classic
Atlantis: The Lost Empire - The lost Disney franchise 20 years on
TRENDINGATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIREThe lost Disney franchise 20 years on
The Trouble with Being Born - Controversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
TRENDINGTHE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORNControversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
David Byrne's American Utopia - One of the greatest concert films ever made
TRENDINGDAVID BYRNE'S AMERICAN UTOPIAOne of the greatest concert films ever made
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!