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The Witches

Directed by Nicolas Roeg

UK, 1990

Cornerhouse, 1 July 2012

With The Witches we have a stylish adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s story, just as you’d expect from a classy director like Nicolas Roeg.

It is genuinely scary in places, especially when Anjelica Huston takes off her ‘human face mask’ and addresses the gathered faithful.  Huston plays the grand witch sexy as well as scary, a smart move and one which tells you all you need to know about the subtext of the story: a boy’s inchoate pubescence, his apprehension – bordering on fear – of women outside the family home.

This terrific film will delight children of all ages.  And all interested adult parties should compare Dahl’s story with his romp My Uncle Oswald; they are two sides of the same coin.

The Witches is showing again on Wednesday as part of the Matinee Classics season, further details here.