Story: A little boy moves in with his grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. The grandmother explains to him that witches exist in reality and warns her grandson about the cruel witches with bald heads and long fingernails.
When their grandson meets a witch one day, they travel to the coast to a hotel resort. There, by chance, they come across the High Witch, who has called a conference of witches.
Anne Hathaway as the "High Witch" in the posh hotel with her cat, while Stanley Tucci as the hotel manager tries to point out that animals are not allowed.
©Warner Bros. Pictures
by Ilija Glavas
Creepy – colorful witch tale with high show value
Roald Dahl’s classic horror story, reminiscent of "Suspiria" and half to "Ratatouille" and seems tailor-made for Robert Zemeckis’ storytelling skills. After all, this is the filmmaker who starred Bruce Willis and Meryl Streep in "Death Stands Her Good" Trapped in a baroque, often hilarious house of horrors.
The "Tales From The Crypt" produced and presented to us in "Wrong Game With Roger Rabbit." delivers this traumatic scene with Judge Doom, who executes a cartoon – shoe in the so-called "dip. The man knows uncanny. And, more importantly, he knows how to make it eerily funny.
The film opens with a slide show explaining to us that witches really do exist. They live well camouflaged among us and have a single enemy image: Children.
©Warner Bros. Pictures
The witches still want to turn children into mice – but the courage is missing
We only hear the narrator’s voice, which in the original belongs to Chris Rock. Followed by Time jump to the year 1967. A nameless orphan from Alabama (Jahzir Kadeem Bruno) arrives with his grandmother (Octavia Spencer) at a luxury hotel by the sea, only for them to find themselves in the midst of a scheming coven of witches led by the superbly performing High witch (Anne Hathaway) is leading.
She plans to exterminate all children by turning them into mice.
That’s also one of the few reasons why The Witches, registers as a mild disappointment. While the film introduces its titular characters with panache and plenty of color, it ultimately lacks something in the fright department "Salt in the Soup" .
Stanley Tucci as the hotel manager in Witches Witches ©Warner Bros. Pictures
Few own ideas, but realized with modern cinematic means
And while hitting all the lurid plot points of Dahl’s tale, Zemecki’s doesn’t add much on its own, aside from moving the action from 1980s Bournemouth to 1960s Alabama.
The unnamed child hero (played by likable newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno and a slightly snooty narration by Chris Rock) still ends up in a seaside hotel with his grandmother (Octavia Spencer), only to find himself in the middle of a scheming coven of witches.
There’s still a grotesque, "irresistible" backdrop, lots of rat-like sniffing by children ("The cleaner the child, the seedier the smell", someone explains) and plenty of four-pawed antics as several characters are turned into mice, prompting Zemeckis to peddle the latest CGI technology.
Olivia Spencer as the grandmother you could only wish for as a child. ©Warner Bros. Pictures
Anne Hathaway is simply brilliant
Nicolas Roeg’s 1990 adaptation starred Anjelica Huston as the Great High Witch, impressive in her imperious human form and unforgettably nightmarish in her Jim Henson-designed sausage-nosed mien. Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of the character here is less traumatizing but very very entertaining.
She is associated with a Garbo-on-steroids accent ( Greta Garbo had a pithy accent that she never shed ) equipped, which gives the word "mice" seven consonants. Plus, with exaggerated haughtiness and a wardrobe that perfectly straddles the line between chic and infernal.
Whenever it is on the screen, the movie comes to life. And Zemeckis finds some new, technically assisted ways to make the GHW ( Great High Witch ) scary, such as z.B. Freakishly telescopic – artfully extending arms to chase shrunken children through the vents all the better. But! The most disgusting thing about witches are their feet.
Hathaway’s articulation is a highlight in itself in the original
And although promising elements – not least Stanley Tucci as the maddening and fastidious hotel manager – are brought to the forefront, it is never quite as wild and scary as it could be.
Still, there’s enough zest and verve to make it a fun Halloween treat, and the idea that sinister witches live among us is still very spooky. A tip, as can be identified from this film: They pronounce garlic "Gorlick" ( In the original ).
Conclusion: A supernatural, effects-laden film event for young and old from the hand of Robert Zemeckis. This makes it a little discouraging that it is only good, rather than masterful. But this does not diminish the fun factor, which holds this brightly colored witches assembly ready.
Dahl’s story, in fact, still delivers that familiar entertaining touch of. Even if not everything turned out perfectly. It is just like a court, to which the certain "something" missing: A new adaptation as an easy-to-digest, and fun Halloween treat.