The Witches (The Devil's Own) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Witches (The Devil's Own) Reviews

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½ February 6, 2010
Not one of Hammer's best films, but still an enjoyable depiction of secret witch cults. As one reviewer notes below, The Wiches has a lot in common with Robin Hardy's horror masterpiece The Wicker Man: the town that is obviously hiding something, the hints at paganism and witchcraft, the outsider trying to uncover the truth behind mysterious deaths, etc. And The Witches manages to slowly build a creepy atmosphere without ever revealing who is good and bad or what is exactly going on. It's climax is perhaps a bit cheesy, but still fun and creepy in its way. If you want the real experience, see the Wicker Man, but if you are an ardent lover of Hammer then you will most likely not be disappointed.
November 1, 2009
Kind of slow and not very interesting.
September 20, 2009
Rather dull film from Britain's Hammer Studios about a teacher (Joan Fontaine) who, following a breakdown she suffered during a native revolt in Africa, takes a job in a small English village where things are a little too perfect on the surface in order to disguise the actual sinister goings-on.
Has many similarities to The Wicker Man, which would be released six years later, but has none of the mystery or power of that film.
March 31, 2009
I want to see the prequel: Jungle Madness
July 24, 2008
Interesting tale of schoolteacher Gwen Mayfield (Joan Fontaine) who after suffering a breakdown in Africa returns to take up a position in a (very Hammer) English village. There she uncovers a witch's coven planning to sacrifice one of the pupils. There are, however, two major flaws that ultimately undermine the story. The ending is frankly ridiculous, with the dancing villagers more reminiscent of an am-dram musical production. This is hardly The Devil Rides Out. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is Fontaine's performance. Is this really the same actress who was so effective in Hitchcock's Rebecca? Here she comes across as an irritating dullard, far less interesting than the villain. As with most Hammer productions, it's certainly atmospheric, but can't really overcome its limitations.
July 4, 2008
Skillful build-up, let down - as others have commented - by the rather insipid ending. However, after something like The Wicker Man, the ending of this earlier venture is bound to seem somewhat too tame. Wonderful little appearance by Leonard Rossiter
July 3, 2008
A film which has basically the same storyline as any other Hammer film! & 'Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em's Betty is in it 2!!!
May 31, 2008
The first 3/4's of the film is suspenseful even intelligent at times but the ending butchers it as a whole.
½ May 18, 2008
Great old Hammer Horror Movie from the 1960's, set in a sinster English village controlled by Witches, I would of given it more stars if it was not for the terrible ending, still good stuff from the studio that dripped blood.
½ March 24, 2008
We are in mysterious going's on in quaint English village territory here and everything that entails.
This is a pretty decent, for the first hour or so, but yet little known Hammer film. Joan Fontaine is drawn into the sinister goings on of a rural town or is it just a relapse of her illness and what happened to her in Africa? As i say the first hour is really good, builds tension well, good characters and I thought this may be a forgotten Hammer classic but its let down by a really lame last twenty minutes or so. I just wasn't convinced by the motives and the eventual denouncement, the very end is almost, although not quite as bad as the end of To The Devil A Daughter. A shame as it was building to something more interesting.
Passed the time well enough but not one I plan to revisit.
½ February 29, 2008
Thought it was brill! Also anyone with the surname Fontaine is instantly in a star in my opinion xxx
½ January 2, 2008
Similar in style to the unsurpassed Wicker Man (original), this film spends most of it's time building a subtle feeling of unease in the viewer. It's well directed, well cast, but has an unfortunately disappointing ending, which spoils the film rather.
December 10, 2007
Not too shabby. A bit like The Wicker Man without the shocking climax.
½ November 17, 2007
"Give me a skin for dancing in!"

Well, I never knew a flock of sheep could be so alarming! Nervy teacher saves English village from witchcraft menace (yeah, same old story, y'know). Was this film an (unacknowledged) inspiration for The Wicker Man? There are a few similarities, certainly (although this is in no way the same class (if you'll forgive the continuing 'education' motif of the term ...Christ, there I go again!)).
Joan Fontaine sports rather mad hair in this (approaching 'Gene Wilder' status) ...and yet I still found her a bit foxy, in a schoolmarmish kind of way (maybe I should get out more). She and Leonard Rossiter (quite suave as the village doctor - no, really) are undoubtedly the best thing about the film ...although there is some pretty impressive cat-acting on display, too! (Obviously, the sheep go without saying.)
The ritual scene at the end of the film looks a little too drama-class 'performance workshop' to be either convincing OR chilling (oooh! scary dancing!). Spoils the film, really. Shame. Everything preceding it is rather great, however.
Screenplay by Nigel 'Quatermass' Kneale. Featuring an adolescent Martin Stephens (yes, the lead kid in Village Of The Damned).
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2007
Were it not for the laughably dreadful climax, which ranks among the worst of any film I've ever seen, this otherwise cracking little Hammer horror would have made a fine companion piece to their other, excellent, occult thriller "The Devil Rides Out", made the following year. The story concerns a teacher, convalescing from a nervous breakdown, who stumbles upon a coven of witches in a sleepy English village. In such films as "Suspicion","Jane Eyre" and "Rebecca" nobody did cringing vulnerability better than Joan Fontaine, and she's perfectly cast as the lead here.
July 27, 2007
Great, atmospheric thriller from Hammer, again using a Nigel Kneale script. The film plays with madness, and would make a great double bill with either Night of the Eagle or The Wickerman. Tops.
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