Great choice for tweens who are not up for blood & guts!
This movie begins with a definitely old world feel which may be a little weird or creepy for today's American kids & I think it's meant to be a little ominous & foreboding. There is just enough grossness & scare for tweens while remaining completely free of the usual blood, guts, & body parts, explicit language, or inappropriate sexual situations. The villainess is convincing in this classic good verses evil plot, but the main character shows us how anyone can become a hero born of necessity. He also demonstrates important values such as keeping a positive attitude under less than ideal circumstances & a desire to help, & even befriend, those in need despite his own troubles. I didn't know about the book all these years, but I'm definitely going to find a copy now that I do!
In all fairness, we were unable to complete this movie, so opinions such as "not a good movie" "bad messages" etc will not be included here since seeing the Entire Movie is essential in those opinions.
However, be warned that the movie begins ominous and bleak. The fact that Luke;s parents die is difficult enough, but the scariness of the characters are pretty intense.
It reminded me of those campy, horror movies where the acting is near-comical, the dialog is clumsy, the camera angles Batman-like (where the floor looks like its at an angle) making the "horror" part almost kitschy.
But, the outright scariness of the "Lead Witch" (anjelica huston) was way too much for my 7 year old son and 8 year old daughter.
We had to turn it off.
Having said that, these are kids that have seen two Indiana Jones movies and Young Frankenstein (its scarier to kids than you might think) with no real problem. I was kind of surprised by the scariness of The Witches. Perhaps because the target of the witches is little kids?
What is scary to one kid, is not always scary to another.
And what we DID see seemed like a pretty good movie and story.
I just wanted everyone to be fore-warned.
Even the sight of Rowan Atkinson (he played the Hotel Mgr) couldn't temper the scariness for my kids on this one.
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