The tale of Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm, is one of the most well-know fairy tales of all time. So, Hollywood has made a couple of adaptations of the classic fable, with each version adding something new to the story. But in 2010, Disney released a remake of “Alice in Wonderland” which included some very dark material. Since this film was a box office success, Hollywood has since then made several adaptations of classic fairy tales with dark material in them. Most of these dark fairy tales have had a mixed critical and financial success. Enter “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”, the latest addition for movies that take fairy tales and put dark material into the subject matter. The end result is incredibly stupid. The movie fails in every aspect and is another clear example that Hollywood doesn’t need to take classic fairy tales and put dark material into them. “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” is just a stupid retelling of a classic story.
The story is your basic Hansel and Gretel story. Two children are abandoned in the woods by their father to escape the clutches of their evil stepmother. The children then arrive at a house made of candy where a decides to fatten them up and eat them. The two children escape the evil witch by turning her tricks against her and burning her alive. But that’s where the movie takes its own little twist. After Hansel and Gretel kill the witch, they decide to hunt all of the withes in the world so that children might be spared. That’s pretty much it.
“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” is another bad example of taking a classic story and putting not only dark material in it, but action as well. The story is just stupid, plain and simple. Sure it’s a good concept on paper, but when the final product is shown on screen, the premise kind of loses some interest. Having two classic fairy tale characters kill witches is a good idea, but the end result is just dumb. The only plausible thing that the story makes any sense is that because Hansel ate so much candy, he became a diabetic, but where does he get the medicine? It’s never explained. Also, there’s a troll in the movie by the name of Edward who falls in love with Gretel. Yeah, even though “Twilight” is over, the movie has got to obtain its teen audience. Bottom line: the story doesn’t care if it’s an adaptation of the fairy tale or not, it’s just a half-baked idea proposed by unintelligent writers.
Another problem that the movie has are the characters themselves. Some of them are morons while others are cliches of characters. But for the most part, the characters in this movie are unlikable.
But the biggest problem that the movie has is the special effects. Everything, and I mean everything, looks like it was done on a computer. The sets look fake, the action is fake, even the blood that is supposed to stimulate the violence that this film produces is fake. The troll that is in the movie is so unreal that the audience cannot tell if it done on a model or on a computer, or just a guy in a suit. (For the record, the troll is CG.) Everything about the special effects are predictable, right down to the final battle near the end of the movie.
The only good thing about this nuisance of a film is that the makeup is impressive. This mainly applies to the witches, but hey, there’s got to be some redeeming factors for this movie. And this is it. The makeup on the witches look nice and the witches are the only dark elements that make the movie worth while. But the massive group of witches only appear at the climax so that they can be brutally murdered by Hansel and Gretel.
In conclusion, “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” is a bad, bad, bad movie. Everything about this flick sucked and is not worth your time or your money. Hollywood should take note that when adapting a fairy tale with dark material, do it right.