Roald Dahl's the Witches is a 2020 remake of the famous 1989 film of the same name, which will take a fresh look at the familiar story and beloved characters. The new film's action takes place in the 60s in Demopolis, a town in the state of Alabama. The main character moves there to his beloved grandmother. She is a seasoned expert on local witches who are just coming to their secret grand coven straight to the local seaside resort. The leading witch gathers her supporters from all over the world and shares her upcoming insidious plans with them. In order to stop the witches, the main character will have to show all his courage, ingenuity, and even remember everything his grandmother taught him.
The new Witches is the second attempt to adapt the dark novel of the same name by the English writer Roald Dahl. The first film was shot back in the 1990s in the genre of fantasy-comedy with elements of horror. It was a family film consistent with the book in terms of content.
One of the new film's main changes is that it is now set in the USA, which inevitably brings racial implications to the film, which, however, does not occupy a central role in the movie.
However, at a certain point, the film becomes absurd. Dialogues fade and become unimportant, characters have no unique thoughts, and the presence of too explicit animation makes the feeling of a fairy tale fade away.
It would seem that prominent Hollywood talents such as Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Zemeckis would make a fascinating adaptation of the well-known book. But as a result, they created a mediocre fairy tale, which, perhaps, is capable of scaring small children and corresponds to the original text in general terms, but does not captivate at all.
But the key problem of new Roald Dahl's the Witches is not unjustified innovations, but Zemeckis's obvious misunderstanding of how a modern fairy tale or comedy should work.
In general, if a bunch of talented and famous people had not worked on Roald Dahl's the Witches, and one of the largest film companies on the planet had not been involved in its production, the demand for the film would have been much lower.