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.
Cast and crew