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  • Writer's pictureCraig James



with Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

A wholly unjustified remake of the 1990 film of the Roald Dahl book, “The Witches” centers on a small boy (Jahzir Bruno) turned into a mouse by the Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway) at one of their conventions, and the informed-about-witches Grandma (Octavia Spencer) who helps him get revenge. Spencer, for her part, is equally no-nonsense, caring, and fun to watch in her pursuits and the makeup on the witches is suitable if not on the same memorable level as what Jim Henson brought. The slit for mouths and occasional vocal that slips into Gollum territory is a nice touch. The shifting of the story to Alabama and new info that witches only attack poor people serve very little though. Hathaway is another problem, merely doing an over the top Swiss Anjelica Huston impression rather than her own thing. Admittedly the weakest part of the 1990 film is still the weakest part here- the mouse CGI still looks abysmal. But at least Henson portrayed the mischief of mice running around a grand hotel. Here, everything has been neutered; the funniest stuff (the Chef attack, fat Bruno’s overreacting parents) from the past has either been excised or minimized completely. For being directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Guillermo del Toro, one must ask, why is this lame?

Rating: 4 out of 10

In Case You Missed It-

The Witches (1990) movie review:

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