Family friendly horror feels a bit thin on the ground for 2020, but the latest incarnation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale The Witches is set to change that.
While the plot plays it quite safe storywise, this version of The Witches boasts two outstanding performances from Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer.
Hathaway almost feels like she’s having too much fun here, with a portrayal that is somewhere between Cruela DeVille and Pennywise. She is a camp but vicious menace who shows early on how she deals with people who disagree with her techniques.
What does harm the film is some quite questionable CGI, although by the same token other parts including our mice protagonists actually works quite well. Its the parts where Hathaway or other members of the Coven have their facial features distorted that feels particularly jarring.
Spencer is very much Ying to Hathaway’s Yang with a really warm performance as a grandmother with a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to witches.
The Witches certainly has that Amblin stamp of approval with Robert Zemeckis in the directing chair plus a sweeping score from Alan Silvestri.
While it doesn’t tread too much new ground, this is a fun watch that all the family can enjoy.
The Witches will be available on PVOD from today.