As always, Spencer proves herself a national treasure. She cuts an empathetic figure during emotional scenes reflecting on life and loss; she phases into heroic and witty against daunting odds—she's comforting but powerful at once. Bruno as the young lad is serviceable enough, but Hathaway repeatedly steals the film as the horrifying Grand High Witch. Part Anjelica Huston from the original (because how could you not?), part Pennywise, Hathaway's take oscilates jarringly between that of a glamorous wig aficionado to menacing monstrosity. Kudos to Hathaway's use of the crazy eye technique, and kudos again for infusing just the right amount of humor to an objectively horrifying character.
Stanley Tucci's in the mix as well, as is some early-movie narration from Chris Rock, though in both cases that hardly seems to matter. Those things exist and little else. Anyway, we're just here for the hijinks and the horror lite elements. As an added bonus, you can show this to your kids alongside the original movie then ask them to compare and contrast. That oughta kill a few hours.
+Better than you'd think, Spencer and Hathaway
-A little trite; even new story beats are predictable
Directed by Zemeckis
With Spencer, Hathaway and Bruno
HBO Max, PG, 106 min.