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The Witches (1990)

The Witches (1990)



Anjelica Huston

Mai Zetterling

Jasen Fisher

Rowan Atkinson

Directed by Nicolas Roeg

Before I decided to see the Anne Hathaway’s The Witches (2020 remake), I gave in to the urge of seeing the first adaptation done in 1990 by Jim Henson Productions. The Witches is a dark fantasy children’s book written by British author Roald Dahl in 1983.

Funny enough the moment I started watching and got to the cruel plan of how the witches want to transform all children, my childhood caught up with me and I knew I have seen the movie numerous times as a child. I was five when this movie came out, so I never knew the name, just recollection of what happened.

I have not read the book that this movie is based, but I can safely say this is not a bad movie to see. I was able to sit through it again and what surprise to find that Rowan Atkinson had a role in the movie.

The movie had a grand performance by Anjelica Huston (as the Grand High Witch) and this movie has a firm cult following, as a child I recall a friend of mine seeing the movie over and over again.

The movie starts with the introduction of Helga a grandmother who we see sitting and telling her grandson about witches. We come to understand that these witches are not just women with magic, but demons who hate children. Helga's eight-year-old grandson, Luke is warned about these creatures and she went as far as to give him information on how to recognize them.

They are female with claws instead of fingernails which they hide by wearing gloves. They are also bald which they hide by wearing wigs. She also tells him that they have no toes which they hide by wearing shoes which are not pointed. The most distinctive feature is their eyes, they have a trace of purple in their pupils. These witches hate the smell of children and will do anything they can to get rid of them.

We get to see first hand what the witches are like earlier on in the film when one tried to capture Luke and using his grandma’s warnings he was able to deduce. When his grandma fell ill, they were told to go for a holiday, somewhere by the seaside. They did and it so happens that all the witches in England were also vacating at that same hotel. Worse of all the ruler of all the witches far and wide Grand High Witch was visiting England to meet with all the witches in England to device a master plan.

Luke happened to be caught by the witches and they used him along with another boy in the hotel as test subjects for their new plan.

Luke escapes and finds his grandmother, tells her what the Grand High Witch wants to do to all the children of England and they bond together to stop her.

The new 2020 remake is directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Zemeckis and Guillermo del Toro. I will be seeing this hope it is as good as this.


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