The Witches (1990)
The Witches is a 1990 British/American dark fantasy horror-comedy film based on the 1983 children's novel of the same title by Roald Dahl, directed by Nicolas Roeg and stars starring Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Rowan Atkinson, and Jasen Fisher. As in the original novel, the story features evil witches who masquerade as ordinary women and kill children, and a boy and his grandmother need to find a way to foil and destroy them. The film was very well received by critics, but it performed poorly at the box office and was also hated by Dahl because its ending differs from the book.
Why It Rocks
- It's quite faithful to the source material as it captures the plot and qualities of the book greatly, it also features some of the more scary moments from the book.
- The film has astounding characters that are incredible. Especially the Grand High Witch, and Helga Evishim.
- The film has a very wonderful performance from Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch as she made the character look quite villainy, intimidating, and amusing.
- Rowan Atkinson's and Mai Zetterling's performances were pretty amazing as well.
- Luke Evishim is a likable main protagonist.
- All the film's designs and special effects were amazing, such as the designs of the mice, and the Grand High Witch look practically real. The CGI is also great, even in the ending where it still holds up.
- The film also has a terrific score from Stanley Myers.
- Jasen Fisher's performance made Luke kind of an annoying character.
- Changing the main character's nationality from English to American was quite unnescessary.
- The witches' hatred towards children is incredibly odd as they hate children because they smell bad.
- Despite it being a PG movie, the movie is way too brutal and scary to be considered a movie for kids, especially when it involves kids being turned into mice and being murdered. Even Roald Dahl was worried the movie would really mess kids up.
- While the film is good on its own, and is generally faithful to the novel, it can still fail as an adaptation due to its cliched, happy, deus ex machina ending deviating from the original novel instead of the original darker ending of the novel. This is because Roald Dahl never intended for the story to be happy and cheerful, rather wanting Luke (unnamed in the book) to deal with the process of his mortality while being happy to be able to pass away with his grandmother. As a result, Roald Dahl hated the film.