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A dark twist to Hansel and Gretel

January 31st, 2013

“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” initially caught my attention as a potentially horrible monster film. I was proven wrong.

We all know the childhood story of “Hansel and Gretel.” A brother and sister get sent into the woods. Inevitably, the kids get lost and end up at a house made of candy. Sweet, right? Anyways, the nice old lady of the house turns out to be one ugly witch who is planning on devouring these kiddies for a midnight snack.

The movie, by director Tommy Wirkola, begins exactly the same way. Like the story, Hansel and Gretel defeat the witch and throw her into the oven instead, but the movie doesn’t stop there. Skip forward a few years, and these two siblings turn out to become one mean duo.

Hansel and Gretel, played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton dedicate their lives to killing witches.

After the movie’s prologue, it opens up on a trial of a woman who is being accused of being a witch. This is quickly interrupted by the entrance of Hansel and Gretel who announce their presence. They were hired by the town’s mayor because of the abduction of multiple children. Despite the reluctance of the town’s sheriff, Hansel and Gretel, start doing work.

Wirkola made this film with action, deep-seeded plot, solid acting and comedy. The characters of Hansel and Gretel have lofty personalities and are incredibly sarcastic. There is a stark contrast between both Hansel and Gretel, and the town’s people. The first difference that I noted was that neither Hansel nor Gretel had accents, while the rest of the characters did. Wirkola must have done this intentionally because Arterton is originally from England. I didn’t particularly enjoy that change, but I was able to look past it. Hansel and Gretel also come off as much more knowledgeable and worldly than the townsfolk, allowing us to assume that they have traveled the world disposing of witches.

Hansel and Gretel also had access to incredibly advanced weaponry. There were machine guns, pistols, grappling hooks and much more. All of these toys led to a lot of fighting which led to a lot of blood. If you’re not a fan of gore, this movie is not for you. Personally, I thought that the blood and guts added to the comedy of the film, but if you’re uncomfortable with that, I would steer clear. You see men literally getting ripped apart.

All of this fighting inevitably unravels into an ornate plot that involves the past of Hansel and Gretel. A lot of people die, but in the end, those ugly witches get what they deserve.

I would recommend this movie to anybody seeking a good “bro” movie. Ladies, there are plenty of heroines to satisfy you, as well, but be prepared for some heads being blown up. I believe that “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” far surpassed its expectations. Seeing this movie on the big screen makes it that much more epic.