A Grimm take on a famous fable.
This adaptation of the Brothers’ Grimm fairytale, by director Tommy Wirkola, sees Hansel and Gretel escape the clutches of an evil witch only to start a career in witch hunting.
Set in the Germanic countryside the film starts by following in the footsteps of the fairytale. Hansel and Gretel are left in the forest by their parents and stumble upon a house made from candy. However, they soon find out that a child eating witch lives inside. The siblings manage to escape from the witch; incinerating her in the oven, and grow up to become famous bounty hunters who track and slay witches. However, they soon begin to uncover some more terrifying truths about themselves.
With a sheriff around who is determined to protect the town himself, Hansel and Gretel have their hands full trying to hunt down the witches responsible for the disappearing children before the blood moon rises. This action packed fantasy retelling of a Grimm tale is full of action, suspense and gore and there is no shortage of violence against women.
Whilst this adaptation sets out a more contemporary fate for Hansel and Gretel, the narrative fails to expand much further than the original fable. The ending becomes predictable and unsatisfying and the few attempts of humour do not amount to much laughter from the audience, especially Hansel’s ironic diabetic health condition which feels more like a lecture about healthy eating than a humorous pun. Unable to thrill an adult audience, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters seems to be a film more suited for an adolescent audience despite being classified as a 15.
The futuristic weapons juxtaposed against the historic setting of the middle ages makes it had to take these witch hunters seriously. Alongside this, both the witch hunters are given a romantic interest almost to nullify the incestuous bond that they seem to share.
All in all this violent action packed adaptation is full of foul language, gore and violence mainly aimed at women, but lacks substance that would, as a result, make this film epic and memorable. With only mediocre performances from Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton this adaptation is Grimm by name and Grimm by nature.
This is one fairytale adaptation that will not be missed from the big screen.
Written by Shirley Welton, who also blogs at Beyond the Edges of the Frame.
Follow me on twitter @shirley_welton