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Should You Watch The Witches (2020) Movie On HBO Max With Your Kids?

the witches hbo max 2020 movie review
(L-R) The three mice, Bruno, Daisy and Hero Boy in Warner Bros. Pictures’ fantasy adventure “THE WITCHES,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release | Photograph by Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

So I literally just finished watching The Witches (2020) movie on HBO Max and decided I should sit down and write this review while it’s fresh in my head. Because honestly, I was super excited to watch The Witches when I heard it was coming out. My 8 year old? Not so much! But I figured I could convince her to watch it, and now I’m glad I watched it alone by myself first. My kid scares easily, and with everyone saying they were terrified as kids watching the original movie, you’d think I’d take that as a warning, but nope. However, I watched it alone today and …

Here’s Everything Parents Need To Know About The Witches (2020) Movie On HBO Max

This Parent Review is also for Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Godparents, and anyone else who may be looking to watch The Witches on HBO Max with kids.

The Witches (2020) HBO Max movie review for parents

What is the The Witches movie about?

So The Witches movie on HBO Max, is a reboot of the original film, which was inspired by the Roald Dahl book by the same name. It’s about a boy who loses his parents, and ends up in the care of his grandmother.

One day he encounters a strange lady, and his grandmother sits down to tell him her own true story about how witches are real. To escape, they head to an expensive hotel, mostly for white folks where grandma thinks they’ll be safe.

Unfortunately for them, this is the very hotel The Witches are staying in. The Witches don’t like kids, and their “head witch” has a plan to get rid of them all!

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out here: The Witches Movie Trailer

Is this movie kid-friendly?

Oh yeah! There aren’t any cuss words, or adult material in this that would suggest otherwise. So I’m happy about that. Even the music is kid friendly. (Which hasn’t been the case with all of the kid movies released over the last year or two.)

Is this movie best for younger kids? Older kids?

Older! And I can’t stress this enough!

My kid is 8 and I know sometimes she watches PG-13 movies (we’ve seen Black Panther and Captain Marvel together) however, THIS thang right here is … um. I’ll explain more below. But if your kid is a scaredy cat like mine, beware!

I can really see older kids like 4th to 5th grade and higher (especially boys or girls who already enjoy horror / scary movies) enjoying this.

Are there any inappropriate scenes or components for kids? (ex: language, songs, etc.)

Nope. Like I said before it’s truly a kid friendly movie, as long as your kids are old enough to enjoy a scare or two.

Are there any positive messages in this movie?

Actually, yes! The Witches touches on dealing with deaths, overcoming depression and understanding that life isn’t fair, in a super kid friendly way.

Which are all great messages for kids to learn.

They also include two famous messages “give them a taste of their own medicine” and “don’t take candy from strangers” that are also great reminders for kids.

Positive messages are always great talking points so I always try to find something that we can discuss afterward. (Or during one of the thousand times she mentions the movie after watching it.)

Plus when something similar happens, I always use movies and tv shows to help her understand the situation at hand.

So this movie makes a great example for these conversations.

How scary is the The Witches movie?

Well … I guess this one depends on your kid?

I’d say it’s a bit creepy for a kid movie. Anne Hathaway plays the HWIC (head witch in charge) and does an amazing job playing her role. But she has a scary mouth that opens pretty big and is slit on the sides. (Pretty similar to the Joker’s mouth if you’ve seen the new movie recently, only his is makeup and hers is “real”).


Along with the disgustingly creepy mouth, she also has a deeper, mean tone when she gets angry and it can be scary for younger kids.

Is there a ton of violence in this movie?

Nope. None at all really. It gives off more scares and “stranger danger” vibes than violence.

Was this worth the price of an HBO Max subscription for our family?

As you probably already know by now, you can only watch The Witches (2020) movie on HBO Max since it’s an HBO Max original. And since HBO Max has a monthly fee, and not everyone is truly convinced they need it, do I think families should invest in a monthly subscription this month JUST to watch this movie?

Is $14.99 too much?

I don’t think so.

We already have HBO Max since I can’t get enough of Doom Patrol and Lovecraft Country (which are shows I cover on my adult site, Popcorn and Tequila) and I still have a few more HBO shows and movies to get through like His Dark Materials.

But if you don’t and you’re thinking about shelling out 15 bucks so your entire family can watch The Witches this Halloween, I think it’s totally worth it. (As long as your kids aren’t super young and scared. These aren’t kid friendly witches.) The movie is entertaining and I really enjoyed it. So I think it’ll make a great Halloween family night movie.

But of course, it’s different for each family, so keep your family in mind when reading my thoughts. YOU know your family best. So if your family would totally enjoy The Witches, it may totally be worth it. (Especially since even if the younger kids can’t watch it, HBO Max has a few other Halloween movies perfect for the little ones.)

Will parents actually enjoy this movie?

Oh yeah! If you’re watching movies with your kids, then more than likely you already like kid-friendly movies and The Witches is entertaining. Plus I mean Anne Hathaway kills her role, and Octavia Spencer blesses anything she touches!

I may have jumped once since I was all in it myself.

Are there any catchy songs kids may remember or get stuck in your head?

There aren’t any original songs in this, but there are two popular songs that are dance worthy.

Do you need to watch the end credits?

YES! The story continues through the first half of the end credits so don’t go anywhere until it’s completely over! We get to see our friend “grow up” and turn old, so it’s a cute ending you don’t wanna miss.

Anything else worth mentioning?

Well, of course, there is!

If you’ve read my movie reviews on Popcorn and Tequila (my movies + tv shows blog for adults) then you know I ALWAYS have a ton to say.

So here are some other things worth mentioning …

  • apparently the Witches only pray on the poor, overlooked kids that they think nobody will notice has gone missing … and if you’re Black and reading this you’re probably already rolling your eyes for very good reasons (especially when you realize that at the beginning of this movie the witch was in a Black community) … that’s all I’ll say on that since this is my family friendly site and I can’t cuss here *wide smile*
  • the cat is shady and I love it, pay attention to his face expressions when he first appears
  • the HWIC room number is 666 and as much as I hate that number I thought that was a cute story detail
  • the transition from human to mouse was interesting. I’m guessing because it’s supposed to be for kids they didn’t go crazy with the transitioning, which I’m sure parents will appreciate
  • there’s a particular mouse whose voice sounds a bit too grown to be a kid and I’m not sure why they’re the only one that doesn’t sound like a kid
  • I love that the adults were dirty rats and the children were cute mice
  • towards the end of the movie Grandma just sits there as if things aren’t “going to hell” and it just looks super suspicious, I would have loved her character to fake confusion and play scared to fit in with the others
  • I liked that the Black hotel staff were given big tips at the end of their stay but again there’s an issue here that I’ll address on Popcorn and Tequila

But that’s it!

I hope this movie review helps you make a decision on whether or not The Witches movie is right for you and your family.

Movies are supposed to be a fun activity for parents and kids to enjoy together, but there’s nothing worse than paying for a movie that your kid HATES. So I really do hope this helped!

If it did, please let me know in the comments.

Oh, and after I watched The Witches my daughter asked to see a clip and now she wants to watch it. Which means we’ll have a kid review up soon.


Written by Shaye Wyllie


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