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The Witches Blu-ray Review


“The Witches” is gleefully dark and demented.

Based on the novel by Roald Dahl and adapted for the screen by Alan Scott, “The Witches” is a 1990 children’s fantasy film directed by British auteur Nicholas Roeg. The story revolves around a young boy (Luke) who lives with his grandmother (Helga) after his parents passed away. The two move to England together and eventually venture off to a seaside hotel for vacation. Alas, their vacation is anything but relaxing as the two encounter a children’s charity group which is actually a cover for what is essentially a witch convention led by the Grand High Witch. Worse still, Luke discovers the witches plot to wipe out children with a new magic formula that shrinks children and turns them into mice. Unfortunately, Luke and a food loving kid named Bruno are the first victims of this formula. Can the witches be stopped? Will Luke and Bruno return to human form? I’m not spoiling the answers!

With the masterfully done “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” having just been released, it feels like the perfect time to go back and revisit another Jim Henson Production with “The Witches.” While straight forward in story, this is an underrated film filled with adventure, magic, secrets, dark content, great puppetry and makeup (especially on the Grand High Witch and the transformation sequences), eerie and atmospheric visuals by Roeg and DP Harvey Harrison, cute mice, and, yes, even the always fantastic Rowan Atkinson (as a hotel manager). They simply don’t make these kinds of movies anymore and it’s a shame.

The real star here is, of course, Anjelica Huston who fully embraces the role of Grand High Witch. This is peak Huston, folks. Whether she’s in prissy human form or repulsive witch form, she creates a highly memorable villain that undoubtedly haunted many children over the years.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? A nice upgrade with a more defined picture.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A little soft but it does the job.

The lone extra is a trailer for “The Witches.”

September 9, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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