A young boy on holiday discovers a secret coven of witches who are scheming to turn all the children of the world into mice.
1/5 Ill-conceived Schemes
2/5 Dear Ratboys
Should You Watch It?
I first saw this movie back when I was I kid and to be fair that’s really the way it was intended to be seen. I doubt the filmmakers were aiming for the coveted twenty-something-roommates-watching-nearly-30-years-later demographic.
Despite no longer being a part of the movie’s intended market there are still a some things to enjoy about The Witches. Angelica Huston is fantastic and I’m always happy whenever Rowan Atkinson shows up in a movie. But it’s the practical effects and monster make-up that elevate this movie into the realm of the memorable.
The scenes that stuck with me after seeing it as a kid weren’t ones about mouse-boy hijinks (aka most of the movie), they were the gruesome effects-heavy scenes! The Jim Henson company did the effects for the movie, so that says it all right there, but what you might not expect is just how grotesque this movie gets! Especially considering its PG rating.
The Witches is not a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination and as a whole it comes across pretty heavily as low-budget kiddy-fantasy-adventure. Yet there still are some wonderful moments where the filmmakers seem to have legitimately gone out of their way to try and give children nightmares. And there’s something you just have to respect about that.
So with that in mind, if you’re looking for a horror movie you can show to frighten a child without mentally scarring them forever, then maybe check it out. But if you’re an adult with no particular nostalgia for the book, then the gruesome bits probably won’t be enough to overpower the kiddy-centric-sweetness of the rest of the film for you.
“Real witches are very cruel, and they have a highly developed sense of smell. A real witch could smell you across the street on a pitch-black night.”
“She couldn’t smell me. I’ve just had a shower.”
“Oh yes, she could. The cleaner you are, the more a witch can smell you.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“Oh, yes it does. A dirty child, it is the dirt she smells. A clean child, it is the child.”
“Wow. I’ll never have a shower again, and I’ll have you for an excuse.”
“Well, just not often. Only once a month is probably safe.”