Review | The Witches Was Weirder & Scarier Than I Thought…

The Witches (2020) is based on a book by Roald Dahl, set in the late 1960s. A young boy goes to live with his grandma, as his parents both die in a car crash. The young boy was in the car when this happened, but was spared his life as he was wearing his seatbelt – a great message to young kids.

As the boy spends his time with his grandma (Octavia Spencer), he unexpectedly encounters a strange lady who talks with a slight slur as she offers him a sweet treat. Nothing about this encounter seems normal, and the young boy narrowly escapes a tragedy thanks to his grandma.

Once the grandma realises her nephew has encountered a witch, she takes him to a luxurious hotel far away from the witch. However, it happens to be the place where the Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway) has gathered her fellow witches undercover to foil a plan to eliminate all the children on earth.

A few more sad encounters with the witch turn the boy and his newly acquired friend at the hotel both into mice, and the two of them, along with the third (who was once the boy’s pet mice), works with his grandma to reverse the spell and save the children from the witches.

Are you lost yet? While I was watching this film I was actually quite surprised by the number of special effects, CGI, jump scares and mise-en-scene that made the overall film perhaps a bit too scary for the younger kids.

Anne Hathaway’s performance as the Grand High Witch should be praised, although the accent she puts on is comedically exaggerated and vague, she creates a witch that is ultimately quite scary for younger viewers (or older). I found myself cringing at the widened joker-style smile and the overall creepy way she talks about children.

Overall, it was… an okay time. I was not overly surprised nor severely disappointed. I can see kids enjoying this film and talking to their friends about it the next day at school, dressing up as mice or the Witch for the next Halloween. Anne Hathaway’s performance is what made this film a bit better and could be the reason why you’re taking your kids to the cinemas this weekend.