The Witches (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Distributor: Warner Bros Home Entertainment
Duration: 106 minutes

The Witches (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In 1990 the world was treated to a great piece of cinema with ‘The Witches’. The movie was based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 novel with the same name, and offered us a true spectacle for young and old. Those growing up in the nineties will probably have seen the 1990 film and have fond memories of it. Even though some scenes were quite scary for young children, the practical effects used were quite amazing for the time. Now, in our day and age of reboots and remakes, we get just that, a remake of The Witches. Once and for all, if it’s not broken, please don’t try to fix it.

We see the movie take off with the narrator (Chris Rock) of the film. We would love to give this character a name, but he has none. We quickly dive back into the past, where the hero (Jahzir Bruno) of the story is still a young boy, who tragically loses his parents in an accident. He gets picked up by his grandma (Octavia Spencer), who ends up taking care of him. The boy soon encounters a witch, and his grandma tells him more about these strange female sorcerers. We eventually end up in a hotel where the Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway) gathers all of the witches from the surrounding area. She is determined to set a big plan in motion, one where all the children of the world would be turned into helpless little mice. The hero soon finds himself turning into a mouse, only for him, his grandma, and a few other unfortunate children to try and stop this diabolical plan from spreading any further.

The flow of the movie is quite horrendous. You’ll literally have half an hour where nothing happens, which is supposed to serve as the introduction. Sadly, this immediately gives you a first taste of the disappointment you’ll experience throughout the film. Halfway things get a bit better in terms of pacing, but the damage that has been done cannot be undone. You’ll just start to notice more and more inconsistencies, that even the littlest child will call out. You’ll see people freak out when rats are running around, but not when a witch actually uses her telekinetic powers to move furniture. You’ll see an entire action scene unfold, with the unnamed grandma standing in the back, not moving at all. It’s actually even quite clear that the scene is happening in front of a still background/shot. This immediately snaps you out of the little immersion you experience throughout this ordeal.

We don’t often mention the actual CGI or effects used in a movie, as even small indie projects tend to get things right. The effects in the 2020 iteration of The Witches are just extremely horribly done. Some of the animals look like bad CGI from the 90s and the main cast of mice actually look worse than 2007’s Alvin and the Chipmunks’ main characters. While not actually being able to see the cables for levitation sequences and others, it’s so poorly done that you just know they’re there. The quality is so subpar that it is beyond belief that this was not polished further, or scrapped altogether.

Acting performances are somewhat hard to judge here. For the most part, the characters portrayed are stupid and shallow, and well, this also means that you’ll blame the cast members for it. We do believe that every single person we have seen here, even the inexperienced children, is capable of so much more. The story writing and the overall appearance of this movie have made the actual acting performances redundant, as the source material was simply bastardized too much. Anne Hathaway had to deal with a lot of backlash because her character had supposed deformities that didn’t go down well with certain communities. We do believe that these responses were a bit too over the top. We reckon she was given a job to do, and she did it as best as she could. We are amazed at how many big-hitters actually took part in this abomination of a film.

The Blu-ray version of The Witches comes with a few special features, such as deleted scenes, a gag reel and a set of ‘making of’ features. The latter are somewhat fun to explore, but bring nothing special to the table.


This new version of The Witches might as well be one of the most horrible and inconsistent experiences we have ever seen. The movie is utter and complete crap. Even though we often still do our best to find some redeeming qualities for the releases we get to review, this one has absolutely none. The overall effects used pale in comparison to those used in the 1990 version, the acting is mediocre, what is happening sometimes doesn’t make any sense, the overall execution is poor, and on top of that, the movie doesn’t know how to pace itself. If this was Salem, we’d burn ‘The Witches’ twice, hoping it would never rear its ugly head again.

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The Witches (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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