In one of her final roles, Mai Zetterling stars alongside Anjelica Huston's Grand High Witch in Nicolas Roeg's disturbing family classic.
Real darkness seethes beneath the ‘Once upon a time’ surface.
Witches are real! When Luke's grandmother Helga (Mai Zetterling) tells him how it really is and warns him to beware of witches, the young boy finds danger around every corner. As the pair embark on a seaside holiday, they discover a conference of witches has descended on their hotel, pitting Helga against the Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston).
Based on the much-loved book by Roald Dahl, The Witches is the perfect intersection of talents from international cinema. Director Nicolas Roeg had carved out a fascinatingly career with films such as Walkabout, Don’t Look Back and Performance under his belt. Anjelica Huston had made an Oscar-winning transition from modelling to acting. And Jim Henson provides the scene-stealing special effects.
For Mai Zetterling, The Witches marked a mini-on-screen-renaissance, returning to acting after a 12-year break. Although Anjelica Huston steals every scene as the over-the-top Grand High Witch, Zetterling really comes to the party as the endearing diabetic Grandmother combatting the witches in between naps.
Rounding out a successful year, Zetterling also appeared in Ken Loach’s Cannes prize-winning Hidden Agenda (1990).
9 & 17 Jul 2021
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Mild horror themes