The Witches


(out of 5)

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 (, 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.

Lorimar Film Entertainment, Jim Henson Productions, The Jim Henson Company

United Kingdom/USA, 1990

Directed by 

Screenplay by , based on the book by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Boston Film Critics Awards 1990.  

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