Zemeckis moves the fantasy story to 1967 Alabama, where the eight-year-old protagonist has been living with trauma since the death of his parents. Just when things seem to be getting better for the kid, he and his grandmother have to fear witches in the city.
Grandmother and grandson go into hiding in a chic hotel, but just let a secret witch convention take place there. The witches’ plan: turn all children into mice. The young hero quickly becomes a victim of this himself. But even as a rodent it does not give up just like that.
The biggest attraction of this children’s horror, just like in Roeg’s version, is the actress who is allowed to play the chief witch. After the brilliant performance of Anjelica Huston, it is now Anne Hathaway who pulls out all the stops. With a bold European accent and a great sense of theater, she also puts down a nice devilish diva
The sordid and comical creepiness is further increased thanks to modern trickery. Hathaway’s mouth, arms, and voice can suddenly take on terrifying shapes. Also this version of The witches is therefore not exactly made for delicate children’s souls. Although Zemeckis clearly focuses more on entertainment than terror. The noisy, adventurous music plays an important role in this.
✭✭✭✩ (3.5 out of 5)