The Witches (DVD)
Following the death of his parents in a car crash, young Luke is taken to England by his grandmother, who delights him with her tales of dark forces, ...
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Review of "The Witches (DVD)"
And now the long haul to Gold is on!
The Witches is a book written by Roald Dahl, which was then turned in to a DVD version which is of course the subject of this review. Being made in 1990, it is classed by standards of the day as a dark fantasy horror film - although it is of course still for children, and so therefore was rated as PG.Its plotline follows the story of a young boy who gets sent to live with his grandmother following the death of his parents in a car crash, who begins telling him fairy stories about witches and how they turn children in to mice as they despise them so much by putting a special lotion in to things they know they will like. According to her, witches are on the outside sweet little old ladies who try and trick children with their promise of some of their favourite things - sweets and so on. But underneath their outer masks are bald headed female creatures with no toes and long finger nails, who think that children smell - but they only smell when they are really clean and bath or shower every day. He of course doesn't believe her as such, but he does still enjoy listening to the stories that she makes up.
However after being taken ill, she decides on the advice of the doctor to take her grandson away to the seaside - but lo and behold, there is an annual witches conference in the hotel that they go and stay at. And sure enough after a short time he gets found out by the witches who force him to be turned in to a mouse, but after raising his grandmothers' awareness they turn the tables on all of the witches and turn them in to mice too - which proves to cause even more mayhem for the hotel staff.He and his grandmother return home with him still a mouse, but the end of the film surprises us all - but that would be giving away far too much of it, and spoiling it for those people who have not yet seen it.
The main cast list is as follows:Anjelica Huston as Miss Ernst/Grand High Witch
Jasen Fisher as Luke Eveshim
Mai Zetterling as Helga Eveshim
Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Stringer
Jane Horrocks as Miss Susan Irvine
Charlie Potter as Bruno Jenkins
Anne Lambton as Pamela (The Woman in Black)
Angelique Rockas as Henrietta
Annabel Brooks as Nicola Cuttle
Sukie Smith as Marlene
Bill Paterson as Herbert Jenkins
Brenda Blethyn as Rebecca Jenkins
Jenny Runacre as Elizabeth "Elsie"
Emma Relph as Mildred "Millie"
Rose English as Doreen "Dora"
Nora Connolly as Beatrice
Rosamund Greenwood as Janice
Darcy Flynn as Luke's mother
Vincent Marzello as Luke's father
Ola Otnes as Erica's father
Jim Carter as Andre the chef
Roberta Taylor as Jacqueline (chef witch)
Stella Tanner as Loisette "Lois" Leffour
Barbara Hicks as Regina
Only being eight when this particular film first came out, I did find it rather disturbing at first (but then again I hated most things with even just a little bit of violence or any nastiness in it the first time I would watch something). However after watching it a couple more times, I got more used to it - but many of my friends loved it, and so therefore I would recommend that you should exercise caution before showing it to any other children (although to my mind children these days quite often watch things that are a lot worse).This naturally leads me on to what this is all down to, which is of course the special effects that are used during the course of the film. Many of the sequences show things such as children (and ultimately the women) being turned in to mice; the physical appearances of the witches once they have removed their outer disguises, and showing mice talking and running through the crowds and furniture. However a lot of this is put down also to the production team one feels, which is headed up by Jim Henson who is of course well famed for The Muppets amongst other things - in fact, this was the last film that he worked on before his own death and the last of Roald Dahl's books to be made in to a film before he died too.
All in all this is an excellent show of how the fantasy world meets with the real world, and it also goes to show that good can triumph over evil. It shows that against all the odds anything can happen, no matter how old or how young you may be or feel - but that you can still make a difference. Which leaves me with no other alternative but to recommend it to you all to watch, if you have not yet done so.Thanks for reading!
Warner Home Video The Witches
From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Wizard of Oz, many classic tales through the centuries wouldn't be half as exciting without the devious doings of...
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Product Information : The Witches (DVD)
Manufacturer's product descriptionFollowing the death of his parents in a car crash, young Luke is taken to England by his grandmother, who delights him with her tales of dark forces, witches, and their wicked ways. While stopping at a seaside hotel, Luke discovers a plot by the Grand High Witch to turn all the children of England into mice. Can Luke and his grandmother foil the evil witch's plan?
Listed on Ciao since: 04/11/2005