October 25, 2020

Witch It And The Witches: Are You Scared Yet?

Witch It

In the spirit of the Spooktober (more on that here), and the month of Halloween, we’ve selected Witch It and The Witches. Two different projects with witches (hey we love them) that just might scare the pants out of you. Well, we hope anyway. Witch it, because it’s currently on sale hare IndieGala, and The Witches, because HBO Max just released it.

Witch It Led Me To A Tough Decision

And yes, when I’m talking about a good movie pairing for Witch It, I’m talking about the 2020 remake of the 1990 classic. Or the latest adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl book. Whichever you choose works. But, I must admit I was quite tempted to review the 1990 Nicholas Roeg movie. For the simple reason that that’s what I grew up with. But then I thought, why not go for something different? Something like Hocus Pocus or The Witches Of Eastwick It was a nostalgic decision you can safely say, but at the end I chose the more current version. And since the Robert Zemekis directed remake dropped on HBO Max dropped I had to watch it. More on my impression of the movie later in this post. First, and foremost, I believe a word or two about the game is in order.

Witch It

What’s Witch It All About?

Well, as you can probably tell by this post (and by the title of course), Witch It is about well…Witches. But at the same time, it’s a multiplayer hide & seek game in which, brave hunters seek hidden witches in a humorous, magical world.

But the thing is the game allows you to play both as a witch and as a hunter. And as a hunter, your job is to hunt down all the witches for the sake of a peaceful town. Hunters have equipment with a range of different tools and gadgets to help them with their task. Whether it is a loyal chicken that scans for sneaky witches or a body slam skill that causes huge impact damage in one area! Witches can mimic almost anything in the landscape in order to fool the hunters and stay alive, so be careful.

Not to mention, much like The Witches, Witch It – the video game is a brand new project as well. Developed by Barrel Roll Games, Witch It was released by Daedalic Entertainment. And just one day before the Witches movie. What a coincidence. But back to the topic at hand. Is the new Witches movie good? Is it worth watching?

  • Witch It

Three Decades Apart Between The Two Movies

That’s the time difference between the first movie and the 2020 movie adaptation of The Witches. Thirty years. And you can feel it to be quite honest. Not just in the visual presentation. But the premise is more or less the same. A recently orphaned boy (played by Jahzir Kadeem Bruno) is preyed upon by a group of children hating-witches, while visiting a hotel resort in Alabama. So with the help of his grandma (Octavia Spencer) and two other children turned into mice (much like him) he’ll set up a dangerous mission to stop the evil witches. But especially stop the most powerful witch of all. The Grand High Witch (played by Anne Hathaway).

Witch It

Witch It Is Great, But The Witches Is Different

Sometimes different can be good, but in the Witches case, it’s not for the better. My biggest beef with this movie is that it’s not scary. It’s revolting. And I wish I could choose a more suited (less crass) word to describe the 2020 movie but I can’t. Most of the revolting notion comes (in my humble opinion) from the basic and underwhelming CGI and the rest from the witches’ design. Again, tied with the CGI. But the lack of imagination on Zemekis’s part really does play a role too. The reboot is very bland and timid in both the visual presentation and the story development.

Witch It

That’s not to say that there aren’t any good things in the new version. Far from it. The performances from Octavia Spencer and Anne Hathaway are splendid in their own way. One is warm and good, while the other one is evil and retched. But I feel that Anne had a little too much fun, and at times got carried away way too often in this movie. With the over-the-top, campy performance in the role of The Grand High Witch that is. Chris Rock does a wonderful job as the narrator, and poor Stanley Tucci is barely 5 minutes in this movie. Not enough to make an impact, which is a shame. He’s one hell of a talented actor, but his talent is wasted here.

Excited Anne Hathaway GIF by The Witches

Different Setting, Different Messages

While the 1990 movie was primarily set in England, this newer (2020) version of Dahl’s book is set in the southern USA. In the late 60’s no less. Which I love to be honest. But I feel that although the ending is different in this 2020 version, so is the message. And, if my memory serves me, the message of the 90’s film was that not all adults are trustworthy. You should never take a candy from a stranger and all that. However, the 2020 version puts a much bigger emphasis on the child’s psychology. To be more specific on the child’s mourning after the loss of his parents.

I’m glad that that process took time in this movie, and the writers took their time and show it slowly. You can see how the grandma is trying to cheer up his grandson and to get him off his depression. She’s trying with baking, cooking, dancing and by gifting her grandson a pet mouse. I’m so glad the movie has that process in full length, because I feel it’s an important message too. Children cope differently with grief and this particular child had the best coping strategy. A loving and caring person by his side (his grandma) that just happens to know quite a bit about witches. 

Witches

Guillermo Del Toro Is Involved In This Movie

Frankly, I was surprised to find Guillermo Del Torro as one of the 3 credited screenwriters. And honestly, I can feel his presence (dare I say influence) in the movie, despite being one-third of the overall presence. However, I wish he’d be more involved in the visual scope of the movie. Del Toro has a specific dark yet poignant and instantly recognizable style, which I think would have blended perfectly in The Witches. But oh well. Much like the remakes, reboots and brand new film adaptations of 2020 were underwhelming as well. So, you can really add it to the pile of barely passable 2020 movies. Regardless if they’re theater releases or streaming device releases I might add. The movie releases of 2020 are not good, and The Witches sit last on the long unceremonious line of not good movies.

Which It VS The Witches

While the 2020 movie version of The Witches seems flat and underwhelming, I can’t wait to hear your opinion on the movie. And on the Witch It – the video game. Do you like it? How about the 2020 movie? Tells us all about them in the comment section. We’d love to know all about them.

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