The Witches directed by Robert Zemeckis is a fun, family friendly, adventure film that modernizes Roald Dahl’s book. Everyone can look back on their childhood and remember something that absolutely terrified them. Some may have been scared of clowns, vampires or even werewolves (specifically to me, Michael Jackson in the Thriller music video) but the young boy in this film has an encounter with witches.
A Robert Zemeckis film is always incredibly entertaining and inventive. The story is adapted very well and the structure of the narrative made sense for a modern audience. The film begins with a slideshow and voiceover by an older character (Chris Rock), retelling his encounter with witches when he was younger. It was really effective to format the film in this way because it was much easier to follow.
The film feels really extravagant because of its elaborate production and costume designs. There are so many vibrant colors used and the palette feels as whimsical as the witches themselves. Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch was perfect casting and her accent was probably the funniest aspect because of the play on words for her dialogue. Octavia Spencer was a ball of light as the young boy’s grandmother and her energy was infectious.
The Witches is a modernized version of the old tale and it feels nostalgic at the same time. This is a film that will bring the whole family together for the month of Halloween. It is filled with incredibly cute moments and some special effects that will leave you a bit spooked. Zemeckis captures the same magic that makes all Roald Dahl adaptations special.
Make sure to catch The Witches on HBO Max on October 22nd!