When you think about children’s horror movies, usually a giggly and not so terrifying plot comes to mind. The monsters are funny looking creatures and the overall theme is light and far from sadistic, but that’s not the case with Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”.
The genius children’s storybook writer put forward a masterstroke with his short horror story more than 3 decades ago. Producer Jim Henson adapted the story to make a children’s horror movie, but it is creepy enough to even give the adults a nightmare.
If you haven’t watched this film, you have missed out on an amazing classic! The film is unique with its content and the creatives are unforgiving not caring to please the audience, rather putting forward a story that is there to make you feel the chills. One of the many reasons why the film is so unique is the sheer talent of director Nicolas Roeg, who has given hits like The Man Who Fell to Earth.
The movie, even though adapted from a children’s horror story develops an atmosphere of fear with some very strong scenes done exceptionally well!
Here are some scenes that make the movie very disturbing to date:
The Head Witch is Shown Pulling Off the Skin of Her Own Face
At the beginning of the movie, it is shown that the Head Witch is a beautiful lady. But all that beauty turns into sheer horror when the Head Witch is shown removing the skin of her face and her wig, she has a long nose and rotting skin indicating the dead nature of these witches. The scene is quite unsettling and gross, the other witches also have similar body features, though not as scary as the Head Witch. However, they all have rotting bald heads, ugly teeth, and purple eyes.
The Movie is About Slaughtering Children
There are many Hollywood horror movies, but we’d have to search really deep for a movie that’s about killing children. The real horror in this children’s movie is that they are surrounded by ordinary-looking women who are witches in real, so no one knows who might be a witch and who is just a normal human being. And these witches don’t want the kids to join them, instead, they cherish killing children which is again a very disturbing angle in the film, making children fear every woman around them.
A Little Girl is Trapped into a Photo Frame
Now, this is the kind of horror that shakes the audience! A witch traps a young girl into a photo frame and she is now stuck in it for the rest of her life. She moves and grows older inside the frame, she can hear everyone but not speak. This scene is shown in the beginning of the movie and grabs the attention of the audience right from the start! This is the kind of horror that not even adult horror movies contain.
A Baby in the Pram is Pushed Downhill by the Head Witch
Quite disturbing for a children’s horror movie, The Head Witch shows no mercy when she sees a baby in the Pram next to her sleeping mother. She finds this as a perfect opportunity to push her downhill. The scene is pretty gruesome and stuff like this is not even shown in horror movies for adults! The scene sets the premise for enforcing the heartless nature of the Head Witch.
A Child is Tricked into The Witches Conference and Transformed into a Mouse
A rich kid is tricked with chocolates and ends up at the Grand Witches conference, while he asks for more chocolates, the Head Witch gives him a dose of something called the Formula 86. The kid who is demanding for chocolates slowly starts to transform into a tiny mouse and all the witches present over there start enjoying this demonic scene!
Do You Really Know Who She is?
From the start of the film, it is emphasized that any woman could be a witch in disguise. Since women are usually regarded as caring figures, mothers, sisters, and loving aunts, the fact that any of them could be a witch raises the tension and anxiety all the way more. Even after watching the film, children suspected their mothers or other females to be witches and parents also used this point to straighten up their children scaring them that they’d remove their mask.
Roald Dahl was an incredible storyteller with a very morbid yet humorous imagination which shows in his other stories as well. Combined with the unique storytelling abilities of creator Nicolas Roeg, the movie lives on even after 30 years!
Watch the movie now if you haven’t and if you have, then let us know your comments and favorite scenes in the comment section below.