Monday, October 21, 2013

The Witches (1990): Recap and Review

As it is the Halloween season, I have decided to go back and watch some of my favorite Halloween movies as a child and one of my most favorite one is The Witches a 1990 film based on the 1983 Roald Dahl book of the same name. Growing up as a child Roald Dahl was my favorite author and I loved reading his strange books.  I don't remember when I first saw this movie but I remember it being a staple of what I watched growing up and that I was scared during it, especially during the initial exposure of the Grand High Witch.
The Witches is a story that follow Luke, played and voiced by Jasen Fisher, who is a boy visiting his grandmother Helga, played by Mai Zetterling, who teaches Luke all of real witches and how they hate little children.  He teaches that real witches have purple eyes, no toes, no hair, and pointy fingers.  She teaches him that it is important to be able to stay away from witches because they hate children and will do everything they can to kill children.  After his grandmother gets sick, she and Luke go to a seaside hotel in England to get some sea air and relaxation.  The hotel is run by Mr. Stringer, played by Rowan Atkinson, and this would be just a normal vacation if it wasn't for the fact that the national witch convention is being held at the hotel at the same time.  Luke discovers that not only are all the witches in England but the Grand High Witch herself, played by the wonderful Angelica Houston, is there as well.  With Luke in hiding he finds out that the Grand High Witches plan is to turn all of the children in England into mice with her new Formula 86.  Before he is able to tell his grandmother about them, the witches smell him out and force him to drink the formula turning him immediately into a mouse.  Luke is able to get to his grandmother and convince her about everything that is happening. They work to steal some for the Grand High Witch's Formula 86 and put it into the Witches' special soup causing all of them to turn into mice.  Luke and his Grandmother then set their sights on seeking down all the witches in America.
Like I said this was one of my favorite Halloween movies as a child and whenever I watch it I get the nostalgic feeling of love for this story and movie.  Yes it is a bit out of date and quite cheesy at times, but I still love watching it every year and recommend that if you haven't seen it that you do.  There is some overacting in this movie but it is a family movie from 1990.  It utilizes puppets, especially with the Grand High Witch turning into a very ugly mouse.  The effects are of the time but as it is mainly bolts of magic this isn't that bad.
Angelica Houston is fantastic as the Grand High Witch and has always been good in these darker roles and she her interactions with the others in the movie are fantastic. It also has Rowan Atkinson in a role which is almost always a good thing.
This is probably too scary for the littler kids and seen as too cheesy for the older children, but I think it is a film worth watching and I always enjoy seeing it again.

My Rating: 3-
My Nostalgic/ Enjoyment Rating: 4

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