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The Witches Review: 4 Ups & 6 Downs

Anne Hathaway carries a remake nobody asked for.

Warner Bros.

The latest big-budget blockbuster to forego a theatrical bow in favour of a streaming release, Robert Zemeckis' remake of 1990's legendary Nicolas Roeg-directed dark fantasy film The Witches is streaming now on HBO Max.

As a new adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved 1983 novel, Zemeckis' take offers up a few tempting twists on the previous film's style and tone, but ultimately ends up feeling like a pale imitation of it, lacking the character and confidence which made Roeg's version an instant cult classic.

It is a textbook example of a movie which wasn't really begging to be remade, and though the cast certainly gives it their all, the end result is a mostly hollow, disappointingly pedestrian film that doesn't even offer up much in the style department.

And so it's somewhat fitting that The Witches 2020 has found a home on streaming, because it's honestly tough to see how its thoroughly mixed bag of visuals would be much elevated by the big-screen experience.

Unless you're really curious, you're better off sticking with the effortlessly superior Anjelica Huston-starring predecessor...

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.