The Witches 
Directed by: Nicolas Roeg
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Rowan Atkinson
"You're in for a treat"
Lawd oh lawdy! Any kid who grew up in the 90's has most likely seen this film. It's one of those rare "too scary for kids" type of childrens movies that i love so much. These types of movies don't seem to pop up as much anymore, which is a shame.
I knew nothing of the book it was based on, and i saw it for the first time back in 1991 when it had JUST hit video and my teacher at the time rented it to show it to the class. It freaked me the fuck out, but i loved it.
The movie follows the story of a young boy named Luke, and his Grandmother. She tells him scary stories about her time as a little girl and the encounters she had with real life witches in the town she lived in. One day Luke's parents die in a car accident, and his Grandmother becomes his sole guardian. She takes him on a trip to England where they stay at a hotel, and during their stay, The Grand High Witch [played by Anjelica Huston] organizes a conference for all the other witches of England to attend.
Soon Luke finds himself learning that witches are in fact real like his Grandmother warned him, and it's up to him to stop The Grand High Witch from turning all the children in England into MICE!
Why mice?..........well, witches find children to be like vermin, mice are dirty little things, so they choose to turn them into rodents. Ha!
If there's one thing that sticks out like crazy from the moment you first start watching this movie, is that it's FULL of atmosphere. The story that's told in the beginning about the girl who goes missing and then appears as an imagine in her parents painting in their home is really creepy. As a kid, that freaked me out! and watching it as an adult, it still has a very haunting feel to it.
Another highlight is when Luke encounters his first witch as he's playing outside in a tree. The woman is creeptastic, like some sort of child kidnapping psychopath dressed in a nice outfit.
The witches meeting is also a scary mess. Not so much because it's spooky, but because the witches are so hideous removing their wigs and shoes. You could just picture one of them creeping up after you as you tried to hide. They're fucked.
The best thing about this movie is Anjelica Huston. It's such a great career moment for her. Every time i think of her, this is the first movie that pops up in my head [as well as Ever After]. She plays evil so well, she has the look, and she has a strong presence on screen. She looks like she's having a blast playing The Grand High Witch, and every time she's in a scene she steals the show. You can't take your eyes off her.
The movie is HUGELY underrated. You'll find more people who haven't heard of it, then those who have. Those who have however, all agree on one thing, that the movie is creepy!. I hope to see a nice DVD package for this one day, so far it's only had a bare bones release, and not even in every country.
Don't be turned off by the fact that it's a kids film. It has a great story, some genuinely eerie moments and Anjelica rips it up. It's definitely for everybody. In saying that though.........i'm not sure if i'd let a kid under 5 watch it, if it freaked me out at 6, i can only imagine what it'd do to someone even younger. If you're looking for something to scare your kids with to keep them away from strangers though, show them this, it'll work like magic, haha.