Roald Dahl's The Witches

Based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl

Adventure Comedy Family
106 min     6.9     2020     Mexico


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.


TinyLilRobot wrote:
A lot was changed in this remake and I thought it would irk me. After about twenty minutes I thought I had been wrong, the opening had some originality and it seemed like something fresh. then they arrived at the Hotel and Anne Hathaway came on the scene like a wrecking ball. Any potential that this movie had was suffocated by Hathaways incredibly poor performance. Watch Anjelica Huston's performance in the original and you will see the MASSIVE difference in ability. Hathaway's performance is akin to an amateur impressionist. It feel more like an insult than an homage by Hathaway, she put zero effort or spirit into this character. Her accent is atrocious and her presence is almost nonexistent. Also the CGI already looks cheap, c'mon they had better puppets in the 80's. All witches now have joker smiles and shark teeth? This could've really been a good movie and it is just marred by an extremely poor performance from the lead villain, an overuse of cheap effects, poor pacing, lack of originality in the second half and a horrendous ending. The only highlights of this movie are Octavia Spencer and Jahzir Bruno who do a fantastic job of filling and updating their roles. Unfortunately as most fans know, Jahzir spends the second half of the movie as a poorly CGI'd mouse. Leaving Octavia Spencer to carry the entirety of the movie from there on out almost seems like a cruel prank. Tucci is decent as is Codie Eastwick as Bruno but there characters are so poorly written and used they practically add nothing. The addition of a third mouse is also meaningless and changes nothing in the story. Ultimately this movie is a far worse version of the first one. They actually managed to tell less of the story, give characters less development, and have worse effects than a movie made over 30 years ago. Some of this may have been forgivable if they added any decent original concepts but again this is a poor retread with no added substance. Its disheartening to see so many big names attached to this film. Guillermo Del Toro should not put this on his IMBD page. Of course your children will like it, they like Peppa Pig.
SWITCH. wrote:
When you hear the names Robert Zemeckis, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron, you expect something visually engaging. These three names paired with Dahl's work could have been something really special, but this is just another bland adaption. The more you compare it to both the source material and previous adaptions, it comes across as bland and missing the mark. The same could be said about the star-studded cast led by Hathaway and Octavia Spencer, with Stanley Tucci playing the forgettable hotel owner. This team really could have made something unique, but this is not it, witch. - Chris dos Santos Read Chris' full article...