The Witches Review

While I was not a big fan of the movie, I do think the poster is really sharp for this title. The colors are on point and it’s all vibrant so this really stands out. Definitely the kind of poster that would get you really hyped to see what was going on here and that this was not a title to be taken lightly. I think having an older main character could have really helped here or if you consider the grandma to be the lead then she should have been younger. Then we could have gotten more banter or some fun fights.

The movie starts out with Helga explaining to her grandson that witches are very real and they mean business. She once barely survived an encounter with them as they dealt injuries which will never heal. She scares him about all kinds of witch fun facts but his mom tells her to cut it out. The parents leave and are promptly destroyed so now Luke lives with Helga. Unfortunately Helga got diabetes though so the two head to a hotel which just so happens to be hosting the grand witches event. Every big witch is going to be there and if they recognize Helga then it’s all over. Even if they don’t though, they target any kid that they come into contact with and that would include Luke. Can Luke escape their fury or is he doomed?

I do like that the movie really set up its own lore about the witches and created the rules really quickly during the exposition at the beginning. Witches primarily go after kids and want to destroy them all. Kids literally smell bad to them which may be part of why they want to annihilate them. Beyond that Witches have all the usual spells you might expect but for some reason they don’t have a whole lot of confidence in their own abilities. Even the leader Eva quickly backs away when Helga, a senior citizen is around like when she tried offering Luke some candy at the beginning. I don’t think that one really made any sense because she should be able to easily crush any kid standing in her way. So what was going on here? What was the film cooking?

That’s why we needed different main characters so we could have some fights here. As it stands, Luke can’t do anything but run so he spends a lot of time running. The problem even with this scene is that he somehow outruns a bunch of adults while he jis just a little kid and not moving particularly fast. I thought that was a real stretch the whole time. Luke’s also a bit obnoxious as the main character like bringing his mice around to the hotel.

Mr. Stringer is treated like an antagonist but he is absolutely right that bringing rats to a hotel which specifically does not allow animals is not a good thing. Moreover, Luke actually takes them out of the room under the guise of teaching them new tricks and is completely unrepentant about this. He really gets into as much trouble as he possibly can and it’s hard to follow a main character like that. His immaturity makes him annoying rather than endearing and you know that he has absolutely no shot in a fight against any of the witches.

Most of the film follows him around so of course that limits just how exciting the whole thing can be. Then we have Bruno who Luke meets early on and they become friends. At least he’s more fun because he fully embraces the fact that he’s completely in the way and it makes for a decent dynamic. This guy eats parts of the food in the hotel and drags the reputation further into the mud. He’s every hotel owner’s absolute worst nightmare. He fumbles quite badly in the second half of the film though when Helga brings him to the parents so he can explain that he is a mouse now but the kid is quiet because he was busy eating. The kids can actually talk with their normal voices while being mice so it should be easy to prove their identity but of course he messes up their one chance.

Then you have Helga who means well but is just way too old to do much of anything. She doesn’t really have any fire or passion to her and so we don’t get any cool banter with the witches. Mainly Helga just avoids them until the witches are too small to defend themselves and she can land a winning blow. Of course that is probably how you have to play the matchup if you’re in her shoes but it doesn’t make me enjoy her character any more. She defends Luke even when he’s making the wrong choices and is a loyal grandmother but at the end of the day she is definitely not one of the standout characters here.

Although there were none so it’s a bit of a trick question. I did like Mr. Stringer at least, he was doing his best to run a good hotel and the odds were just against him this time which was unfortunate. He will have his chance one day though. Once the kids and witches are gone he will be able to rebuild. It is impressive just how many witches there were though, clearly this group is good at working under the radar. Considering that they have to wear human suits constantly it’s not an easy task.

Their true designs are definitely really grotesque though. I would have much preferred if they could have looked fierce or intimidating instead. I think good witch designs can absolutely work well and make for a really powerful scene in the audience when they transformed. Instead with this design they seem rather frail like they can be defeated at any moment. They also have a lot of infighting which ends up hurting them a bit as well. Ultimately they probably would have taken out a lot of humans in the short term but down the road they’d likely be stopped and once one of them slips up, it won’t be long before the humans catch the rest of them.

Overall, I think the issue with this film is that it has an interesting plot but one that can’t really be capitalized on with the main characters as they are. You just need better leads and that would instantly enhance the film. On the other hand there isn’t really enough humor to help the film get by as a non action title either. It ends up not being the most interesting watch as it all just feels a bit mismatched. Like the main characters would be more commonly found in some kind of slice of life film instead of dealing with a witch invasion. We do get a wholesome ending at least so there’s that but remake this as more of a full action movie or a mystery thriller and I think you would really have something here. Also you can cut out the whole turning into mice thing and give them a different plan. Lets not include the animals if we can help it since that can always be really dicey. They were mostly all humans here so at times it doesn’t feel as bad and injuries are mostly off screen but the last one was still a bit intense and having them die as humans would work better than dying as mice.

Overall 4/10


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