The Witches (1990)

NICOLAS ROEG

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

United Kingdom/USA, 1990.  Lorimar Film Entertainment, Jim Henson Productions, The Jim Henson Company.  Screenplay by , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Superb adaptation of the equally delightful novel by Roald Dahl. After having been told by his grandmother (actress and filmmaker ) all about the existence of witches, a young boy () is totally surprised to stumble upon a witches’ convention at the hotel where the two of them are vacationing. Thanks to Dahl’s chiaroscuro imagination, you’ll never know what happens next, particularly when the head of the witches’ coalition (Anjelica Huston, who has endless amounts of fun chewing up the scenery) turns him into a mouse. Terrific characters, marvelous performances and dead-on direction by the always interesting Nicolas Roeg make this one of the best family films out there. That said, don’t show it to anyone too young; some parts are really just too scary for the tinier tots. The makeup effects were created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the last time that Henson oversaw the work personally before his untimely death.

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