I love it when a plan comes together. I love it even more when, right after we announce that we’re doing a whole month of pure horror movies on No But Listen, long-time fan of our work here Robert Zemeckis does as a solid by giving us something to write about in the form of a trailer for The Witches, dropping later this month. Appreciate it, Bob. See you at the roundtable next year.
Anyway! Without further ado, I want to jump (scarred) face-first into this brand new trailer for a brand new take on Roald Dahl’s esteemedly brilliant child-traumitzer The Witches. I’m ready to let it ruin another Halloween for me and send me cowering behind the couch again – are you?
0:07: Yeah. that’s Chris Rock narrating. I think he’s actually a good choice for the part – he has that vocal dexterity that brings Dahl’s dark ridiculousness to life in a way that works for me. No notes.
0:16: Octavia Spencer? As NOT a villain? I’ve seen Ma, Octavia, you aren’t fooling me!
0:25: Already, this trailer just has the most sumptuously lovely set design; I’m not saying that turning a bougie sixties hotel into a pretty backdrop is hard, but still. I like it!
0:36: Truly, I am LIVING for Anne Hathaway goofing off and doing wildly entertaining slices of silliness like this – after Ocean’s 8, I never want to see her in Oscar-bait again. If it’s not at least forty percent screentime solely dedicated to camp, Anne Hathaway doesn’t want to know.
0:45: The older I get, the less insane the actual coven seems to me. Do you know how hard it is to make friends as an adult? I’m not saying I WOULD join if given the chance, but it’s that or the vegan bookclub, you know?
1:02: This CGI is ugly as heck. I hate the way it looks. It’s always hard to fit a movie around anthropomorphized animals like this, but The Witches seems to look particularly cheap – even more outstandingly given how lush everything else has looked so far.
1:11: Anne Hathaway looks incredible. Everything about the costumery, the make-up, the wigs, it’s beyond perfect. Angelica Huston pretty much owns this role, but I think Hathaway is a solid contender for her crown.
1:15: Octavia Spencer, too, is about the most perfect casting I could imagine here – she’s got that deep warmth to her (or can have when she’s not torturing teens for fun) and if any one person could take Hathaway on in the sheer thesp department, it’s her.
1:31: Stanley Tucci is always at his best for me with a pointed accent, a bad wig, and a glint in his eye. This hits the spot for me.
1:50: I think there’s a real and distinct and dare I say critical shortage of really good family horror around these days – either it’s too outright scary for the kids, or it doesn’t have enough actual scares for the adults. But The Witches looks set to fill that hole – there’s enough here to indicate that the movie is going to get good and freaky, true to Dahl’s original book, but at least a solid enough of sense of humour to keep it from turning into Suspiria-But-With-Anne-Hathaway.
I’m going to be streaming this the day it drops – what about you? How does this compare to the original movie, and the book? Let us know in the comments below!
By Louise MacGregor
(header image via CinemaBlend)