THE WITCHES

Director Nicolas Roeg
Year 1990
Starring Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher
Rating PG
Run Time 91min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

I grew up on a steady diet of Roald Dahl novels, and none terrified me more than THE WITCHES.

The idea of a kid stumbling into a convention of witches (who, of course, want to get rid of all children) is a frightening scenario, especially when the Grand High Witch has the power to turn people into defenseless little mice. Fortunately, Dahl always made certain that his young heroes triumphed over evil adults, and even magic is no match for the imagination of Luke, the book's protagonist.

In this film adaptation, Jim Henson worked some magic of his own with captivating puppetry, and as the last movie production before his death, it is an enduring tribute to his creative genius. 

And then there's Angelica Houston, whose performance as the Grand High Witch is a true tour de force. Houston is delightfully scary and fearsomely elegant, and it's obvious that she savored every delightfully dark piece of her role. It's also worth mentioning Rowan Atkinson, who had just created Mr. Bean before assuming the role of Mr. Stringer, the hotel manager. (There's a string bean joke in there somewhere.)

Drafthouse News

A Little Controversy to Start the Week

A Little Controversy to Start the Week

It’s telling that Pixar guru John Lasseter counts Japanese Studio Ghibli master Hayao Miyazaki as his key influence.  If animation in the United States ever has a chance to be something more than instantly devalued as a “children’s” medium, it’s in their hands.

Paul Feig

Paul Feig

Natty in suit and tie and fresh from an introduction (to a group of high-schoolers, natch) of his new film I Am David, Feig impresses with an open intelligence, an engaging charisma, and what appears to be a genuine appreciation for where he is in his career and life.