The Witches – Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

The Witches Now Streaming On HBO Max

Before jumping into this new adaptation of The Witches based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 book, I re-watched the 1990 classic, which is available to stream on Netflix. 30 years later this movie still holds up and is just as impressive today. Jim Henson’s visual work was transcendent and Anjelica Huston’s performance as the Grand High Witch was perfection.


The Witches starring Anne Hathaway is another reimagining of Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience. A young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis, encounter some deceptively glamorous but diabolical witches. His Grandma wisely whisks the boy away to an opulent seaside resort, where regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch, who has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.

The Witches HBO Max
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

I am not familiar with the book and watching the previous version most likely tainted my view of this film. The all-star cast is not enough to make this movie stand out from its predecessor. Instead of taking place during the 60s, this movie should have been set in modern times and took more liberties in creating something we have not seen before. The CGI had just a handful of over the top creepy moments, but the practical effects in the 1990 version were far more superior. And last I could have done without Chris Rock’s narration, which threw me off from the very beginning.


I give HBO Max’s The Witches a 7/10 and recommend you just watch the 1990 version on Netflix, which I am sure the majority of the world has, instead of shelling out the extra money for another streaming service.

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Sean Tajipour is the Founder and Editor of Nerdtropolis and the host of the Moviegoers Society Podcast. He is also a member of the Critics Choice Association. You can follow on Twitter and Instagram @Seantaj.

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