In the latest Robert Zemeckis outing, the director attempts to tackle a Roald Dahl adaptation from 1983. This movie has gotten a lot of hate and criticism from its viewers, but it doesn’t seem bad enough to be derided by critics and audiences. After all, there is plenty to like and enjoy about this film.
The first thing that the filmmakers get right is the style of the film. While the original Witches film from 1990 was flat-looking and didn’t really seem to have any sense of style to it, Zemeckis’ new film has more of a gothic creepiness that looms over the feature like a vulture over its prey. Everyone who watches a film knows that the style it has is very important in setting the tone. The 2020 film has a certain Tim Burton-esque feel to its nature, while the original movie seemed more like a run-of-the-mill 90s flick for kids and families.
Something that they also get right is the setting. The story takes place in 1960s Alabama where there was still racial strife and division. It really makes for better viewing when the setting is somewhere in America that, at the same time, allows for a more diverse cast (Octavia Spencer and Jahzir Bruno).
One aspect that I personally love about the movie is its updated CGI effects. A lot of critics and audience members will tell you that they prefer the 1990’s films’ practical effects. However, the practical effects look a little too gross for a kid-friendly movie and the CGI mice make for a less creepy and more human visual treat.
One thing that I love about this movie is the well-known cast, ranging from Anne Hathaway to Chris Rock. I’m not saying Angelica Houston was terrible as the Grand High Witch, but when you look at her performance, Hathaway truly steals the show.