The Witches

Film

Fantasy films

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Time Out says

A gutsy version of Roald Dahl's story, reasonably faithful despite the changed ending. Luke (Fisher) and his Norwegian grandmother (Zetterling), both clued up on witch-lore, end up sharing a seaside hotel with a coven. Led by the Grand High Witch (Huston), the witches plan to turn all of England's children into mice. Distinctive casting has paid off, (Huston splendidly glam, camp and evil; Zetterling the voice of maternal moderation; Rowan Atkinson an obsessive hotel manager), and the adaptation recreates the sense of foreboding that gives way to gruesome reality. Customary Roeg concerns are evident, but issues of identity are given darkly humourous expression, while directorial extravagance is held in check by an outrageous plot about supernatural transformation, and there are some wonderful special effects from Jim Henson's crew. Strange and scary enough to fascinate parents and offspring alike.
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Release details

UK release:

1989

Duration:

91 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Cast:

Brenda Blethyn, Bill Paterson, Charlie Potter, Jasen Fisher, Mai Zetterling, Anjelica Huston, Rowan Atkinson

Music:

Stanley Myers

Production Designer:

Andrew Sanders, Voytek

Editor:

Tony Lawson

Cinematography:

Harvey Harrison

Screenwriter:

Allan Scott

Producer:

Mark Shivas

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3.8 / 5

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