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Customer Review

21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining adaptation but far from perfect DVD, June 20, 2007
This review is from: The Witches (DVD)
I enjoy Roald Dahl's books and was eager to see the film adaptation of THE WITCHES. The movie is well crafted with awesome special effects for the year it was made and Jim Henson's mouse puppetry is convincing. However I was disappointed by the DVD in several ways. First of all the sound was just awful especially with the Norwegian, British, and er High Grand Witch accents. To compound matters there is no close captioning of any kind on the disc so the viewer needs to be in a quiet room and listen very carefully. Needless to say the the DVD is also devoid of any special features.

As to the story I actually found the first part quite disturbing for a "family film". Luke's loving Norwegian grandmother tells him an awful story of a childhood friend who was imprisoned in a painting by a witch until her eventual "disappearance" in old age and the story is so realistically enacted it is really quite sad and chilling. Grandma also shows him the scar where her little finger was before an encounter with a witch and gives him some warning advice as to how to recognize the creatures. The next morning Luke and his grandmother learn Luke's parents have both been killed in an accident. Shortly after Grandma Helga comes down with a serious case of diabetes and she and Luke leave for a vacation at an English seaside village.

At their vacation hotel they run into a convention of witches and this more surreal part of the story is actually more light hearted and comical despite some intense scenes. The filmmakers give a happy contrived ending to the story unlike what Roald Dahl wrote in the novel. I usually strongly object to filmmakers altering such major plot points but Helga and Luke had suffered so much earlier in the film I was glad to see them experience some joy. Really young or really sensitive viewers will probably find this story too disturbing to be enjoyable.
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