Last week, the 2020 reboot of the 1990 dark fantasy comedy film The Witches was released on the HBO Max streaming service. Despite the original film receiving positive reviews from critics and audiences, the reception to the 2020 reboot has been mostly negative. The people behind the film originally promised that it would be a more faithful adaptation of the original source material written by Roald Dahl, who was critical of the original movie for changing the ending of his book. Despite the fact that the reboot stuck more closely to Dahl’s original vision, both critics and audiences could not get into it as much as the first film.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, The Witches focuses on a young boy played by Jahzir Kadeem Bruno as he goes to stay at a hotel with his grandmother (Octavia Spencer) after the death of his parents. During his stay, the boy discovers a large group of witches, with its leader played by Anne Hathaway staying at the hotel who plan to turn all the children in the world into mice. When the boy is turned into a mouse by the witches, he and his grandmother make it their mission to stop the witches plan and get revenge for turning him into a mouse. In the original film, the boy is transformed back into a human at the end of the story. However, the reboot instead follows the book by having him stay in his mouse form and vow to take down any remaining witches in the world with his grandmother and new friends. Most people panned the film for Zemeckis’ directing, its rushed pacing, awkward dialogue, poor performances from the child actors, unnecessary story changes, abrupt ending and excessive use of CGI even when it was not even needed in certain areas. However, the performances of Hathaway and Spencer were praised by critics.

The Witches was released on October 22 and can be viewed on the HBO Max streaming service by those with an account at any time.

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