“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” is a fine example of a not-so-normal twist on a grimly classic tale.
Not to say that the twist was horrible, but the movie as a whole was not far off from such. That being said, I loved it.
The fairytale nature of the story still held, despite the changes and mostly bad script-writing. Visually, the action was not bad. There was plenty of witch killing, including a decent amount of blood, and apparently a fair bunch of curse words, mostly from the mouths of Hansel and Gretel themselves.
The film opens with a young Hansel and Gretel lost at night in a forest. As in the original Grimm tale, the initial feeling is dark and eerie. The children find the house made of candy and walk through some ominously dark doors that happened to open on their own accord. They are captured by a monstrous-looking witch and forced to eat candy, but Gretel eventually escapes her chains and essentially knife fights the witch, pushing her into the fiery hot furnace, as the story (kind of) traditionally goes.
The story moves ahead to years later, where an adult Hansel and Gretel, played by the ruggedly handsome Jeremy Renner and the lovely Gemma Arterton, have been hunting, hating and killing witches for a lifetime.
Hansel’s bad boy with a secretly heavy heart persona and Gretel’s strong, never give up attitude make for a fun and fairly believable sibling relationship between Hansel and Gretel.
The pair end up being hired by a town in which the children have been going missing at alarming rates, and the duo quickly find something much bigger than one witch is disturbing this town.
During their journey to stop the grand witch, played by Famke Janssen, via firearms and the help of a friendly troll, they end up discovering more about their past and the present than they primarily bargained for.
The plot wasn’t too choppy, but I often questioned what time period this was supposed to be close to, if any. Apparently munitions, hand-crank defibrillators and insulin injections for diabetics are prevalent in the witch-hunting world.
As unreal as witch hunting is, what’s more unreal is the how much I enjoyed this movie despite how dreadful it is in several aspects. Its release was pushed back 10 months into a January spot
I can’t imagine I’m the only one who loved the horribly hilarious cheesy one-liners and overabundance of blood splatter. Even though its timing is bad and everything else is worse, “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” could become a dark fairy tale cult film with a decent following.
It is not classy, it is not a classic, and it is definitely not for children. But it absolutely kept me hooked and entertained. It was definitely different.