Length 1Hr 35
About After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.
- The trio of witches are perfectly cast as contrasting Sanderson Sisters. Bette Midler brings the head strong and witty head witch, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker are the silly foils to Midler’s harshness. It provides a perfect balance.
- The film has a brilliant set up; in two scenes the film has set up the Curse, its central characters and a family new to the town who have no understanding of Salem’s witchy history.
- Outside of the opening sequence, it all takes place on All Hallows’ Eve making it a smooth Disney narrative that easily becomes a comfort watch over the years and is up there with The Goonies for nostalgia rewatches that prompt discussion (whether that be in person or online). It’s a true good versus evil and it allows the kids to triumph on their own.
- It’s a family film, but there are the jokes and comments for the parental benefit that go over little one’s heads.
- Billy, played wonderfully by Doug Jones, is a carefully placed character that really pays off in the final act. I truly love his ‘go to hell’ moment.
- This is one film that handles the defeat fake out really well. I always remember the first time watching it and knowing something wasn’t quite right. It had me on edge knowing there was more to the movie.
- How has it not gotten a sequel?! Not a reboot. Bette Midler rocked the Winnie for Halloween a few years ago and no one is taking that role from her any time soon. I know there’s a book written that could easily be adapted so Disney, what are you waiting for?
A film that put a spell on me the first time I saw it and is one I’ll watch any time it’s on.