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There's something special about movies meant to scare a younger audience. Some of the most beloved films that make the greatest impression on young movie fans are those movies that might appear tame to an older audience but are just scary enough to give some real thrills to kids. It's part of the reason Disney's Hocus Pocus has remained popular to this day and is now getting a sequel. Another popular film in the genre is 1990's The Witches starring Angelica Huston. Rather than getting a sequel, that film is getting the full remake treatment starring Anne Hathaway, and seeing it just got a lot easier and it's happing much sooner.
Originally, due to the release calendar two-step that every studio has had to dance, The Witches, which was originally set to open just next week, was pushed into 2021, but with no specific date. Today Warner Bros. revealed that, like so many big movies before it, The Witches will be debuting at home rather than going to theaters, and it will open this month after all. The Witches will hit HBO MAX on October 22, and along with that news came a brand new trailer, check it out.
While this is only a trailer, it makes The Witches look pretty spot on. It's certainly got that Roald Dahl aesthetic, in that there's a layer of something bright and cheerful over the top of something much darker and incredibly creepy, which the movie occasionally got a little too into. The story is remaining basically the same so anybody who knows the original Dahl story or saw the previous film will know it. A lot of the visuals from that film also appear to be kept, though, of course, they've been updated and enhanced with modern effects, so the kids who have been turned into mice are now full CGI creations.
Anne Hathaway looks delightfully awful here, and Octavia Spencer looks ready to take absolutely zero crap from anybody. Having said that, I think Stanley Tucci is without question the one having the most fun here. While he's the one who has basically no idea what's going, he has all the best lines in the trailer.
Another cool addition is the voice of Chris Rock who will play the film's narrator, the adult version of one of the children who gets transformed. It's unclear just how much he'll be in the film but it's somewhat surprising how well throwing an element of Everybody Hates Chris into a Roald Dahl story seems to work.
People with fond memories of the original book and movie will certainly be keeping their eyes on this one. If the remake works it will likely become the movie that terrifies young children for a new generation, whether it wins over the old generation is another question entirely.